This past June 20th my parents celebrated 70 years of marriage. Wow! What a milestone.
As I think about that a few things occur to me. How do you stay married that long? Someone said, “Don’t die.” Another said, “Don’t divorce.” Well, Dad is 91 and Mom is 89, so the “don’t die” part was easy. The “don’t divorce” part was never an option. Both have a respect for God’s marriage law and deep caring love for one another.
As I think back on being part of their lives for 63 years, there are a few things. I recall both Mom and Dad are children of the depression. Mom grew up with a little more privilege than dad did economically. Also, Mom and Dad raised four children on a preacher’s salary, which at that time was not much. I am supported far better than my Dad ever has been. I am so thankful, too. As a result of these two dynamics, we lived very frugally. But we kids never knew it. The only thing I ever remember not getting, that I wanted, was a motorcycle. I think it is because they knew I would literally kill myself. Mom and Dad sacrificed for us all. We never doubted their love.
But enough of the serious stuff. Given my Dad’s frugal disposition there were a few things demanded of us kids that only made sense to him then and now. For example, not only did we have to clean our plate, we literally had to clean our plate. That meant we also had to eat the ketchup that remained as well. Yep, all by itself. When the grandkids came along they also had to eat the ketchup too. But, they never did because Mom would go by all their plates and clean it up herself. Yep, she would eat it so they could get up and go play. That is what a Memaw does.
Dad is subtly competitive. He hates losing! He loves to play croquet. If you beat him he will insist you play another game, until he wins. He loves the game of 42, played with dominoes. He is good and seldom loses but when he does you will play another game. Even at age 91 he would play all night.
Also, my Mom will not argue with my Dad. True! She will not argue with him. He can be snippy and persnickety, but she will not argue. I think that is how they stayed married for 70 years. On the other hand, though he can be a little snippy with her, she is his life, his queen, his purpose for living. He would die for her. He adores her.
Mom and Dad have been a rich blessing to us children and grandchildren. My older sister arranged all the things necessary to give them a big party on June 23rd. Pictures were taken, food was eaten, and stories were told.
It is not likely they will make another 70 years. But whatever time they have remaining together will be richer than the years before. When I think about success, I don’t know of anybody more successful than Mom and Dad!
Congratulations Mom and Dad! In the words of Ray Price, “You both are the sweetest sweethearts of the year.”