My parents have been married for 53 years today. I think about that and it fills me with gratitude.
When they stood on the altar of First Christian Church in Plano (23 years before Kevin and I stood in the same spot), they made a promise to be there – be present – for each other for the rest of their lives. That was not a specific vow, but the over-arching vow, I believe, in marriage. To not just be there physically, but engaged with your mind and heart, as well.
So, they set out, those two young people in their early 20’s, to be there for each other. In their first apartment, and their first house; a darling little brick ranch, not far from the church, with a 50’s pink-tile bathroom and knotty-pine paneling. My mom set about making that little house home base for the family they would build together, and three years in, they brought home a baby girl with her grandmother’s other dimple.
They were there for each other when Dad set out really early every morning for downtown Dallas, and Mom got up at 4:00 to cook him breakfast. The house always smelled of his eggs and coffee when I awoke; for the whole of my life under their roof, that smell gave me a feeling of security, and it still brings a smile to my face. When he came home in the evenings, he would kiss my mother in the kitchen, and while it would embarrass me, and the two little boys that came along in intervals of three years, it would also strengthen our foundation. It would also show us how to love.
Mom and Dad were there for each other when we moved across town to a house with more room, and a half-acre yard with trees and a fort, all conveniently placed at 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base for backyard ball games. They were there for us for every music, sports, band, drill-team, and any other event any of us ever had. They were there for school programs and PTA functions. They were there for Vacation Bible School, church youth groups and youth-choir, and logged in 100,000 miles in carpool. They were there to meet my dates, and, when I’d return from one, my Mom was there, ready to hear all about it.
My parents have been there for each other through the loss of all their parents, and many of their siblings. They’ve seen all three of their children married, and all three stay married; a remarkable accomplishment. They’ve been there, together, to welcome and enjoy five grandchildren, and now, three great-grandchildren. And over the last year, they’ve been there, in fierce solidarity, to face a hard medical battle with the fortitude of 53 years.
Yes, this day fills me with gratitude because when they made the promise to be there for each other, they also made it to my brothers, and me. They taught us what it was all about, just by living it out, so now, Mom and Dad, we know how to be there, too…and always will be, for both of you.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 ESV
“Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 ESV
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1 ESV
such wonderful role models for so many of us. happy happy anniversary to sharon and tom, and to all of us out here who celebrate them! <3
Thank you so much, Melinda, for this sweet, treasured tribute! This letter is such a gift to us!! We are so Blessed and you are a hugh part of that Blessing!! We Love you so very much!! <3