This Friday, February 19th, would have been Mom and Dad’s 45th wedding anniversary.
45 Years. Wow!
It’s a rare thing nowadays to see a marriage last that long. But what a beautiful sight to see when you do!
My dad met my mom on a blind date in October of 1964.
He loves talking about that night. He has always said, “It was love at first sight.” He recalls her opening the door, and how he thought she was a knock out! There is always a big smile on his face when he thinks about that night.
He told me this week, that on their first date they went to see the movie “Ten Commandments”. After the movie, they went and got a bite to eat at the Parkette Drive-in. It’s the kind of place where you sit in your car to order the food, and the waitress rolls up to your car window on her roller skates.
She told him that night that she didn’t like bald-headed men. That made me laugh out loud! At the time, Dad had a head full of hair, but not for very long…
Dad says she learned to love bald-headed men. :)
(mom’s engagement picture)
They fell in love fast and hard and were married 4 months later, February 19, 1965.
Together they raised 3 children, my sister, me, and my brother. They worked hard to provide us with the things we needed. Growing up, we were involved in a ton of activities…dance, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, piano, golf, swim team, color guard, band, gymnastics, track, girl scouts, boys scouts, youth group, Sunday School, and on and on…. I don’t know how they did it!
But as dad told me tonight, “Our kids were our life.”
I know it wasn’t always easy, but they stuck together through it all.
I asked my dad how they made it through the bad times in their marriage, and he said, “There weren’t really “bad” times in our marriage, just stressful times.” He explained how the circumstances in their lives would sometimes cause stress in their marriage. But they never gave up and never gave in. They were committed to each other through the good and the bad.
After all of us kids were finally out of the house, there was more time for Mom and Dad to spend together. They enjoyed going to “dinner theaters” together and church activities. Of course their favorite thing to do together was to invite all of their children and grandchildren over!
I asked Dad what he loved most about Mom and this is what he said, (in broken sentences and with a lump in his throat)…
“her faithfulness to God…she lived it 24/7… her forgiving heart …the way she loved people…. the way she loved me. I can’t say nothin’ bad about that woman.”
And I left it at that. I knew he would start to cry if I asked for more.
Dad loved Mom with all of his heart. And she adored him too.
When Mom found out she had cancer, their love was more evident than ever.
One day, I was at the house with Mom and Dad getting ready for lunch. She had just been recently diagnosed, and Mom’s legs were not as swollen as they were in the end. She was able to get around much easier. She was in the kitchen fixing her and Dad something for lunch. I was sitting at the kitchen table looking at magazines.
Dad walked into the kitchen with a CD player. He plugged it in and began to play their favorite CD. It was a CD by a gospel group called, Ernie Haus and Signature Sound. They had performed at Mom and Dad’s church, and they just loved them. Mom actually wrote a post about it on her blog. You can read about it HERE.
Dad played one song, and then forwarded it to their “favorite song” on the album. Then Dad took Mom by the hand and they begin to slowly dance. Mom’s arms were around his neck and his arms around her waist. Their feet never moved as they swayed back and forth.
It was as if time stood still. I have never felt a love so strong. It was as if they were trying to drink each other up. Dad began to cry. I know he didn’t want to ever let go. They both knew that her diagnosis was serious and that their time together may be coming to an end.
In my 39 years of being their daughter, I have never seen anything so beautiful.
Their love was special. Their love was true.
I watched Dad as he cared for Mom day in and day out. He brought her food, fluffed her pillows, held her hand, brushed her hair, and prayed for her every day. He adored her.
And Dad was right beside her, still loving on her, those final hours she had here on earth. Mom was on a lot of pain medicine and was not completely coherent, but when Dad would lean down beside her bed and talk to her, you could see her trying to open her eyes and move her mouth. She was hearing the voice of the man she had loved for 44 years.
I remember Dad saying to her before she passed away, “You’re my girl, Wanda. I’ve always loved you. I fell in love with you the first time I saw you.”
Their love was beautiful.
I know this post will be hard for my dad to read. It was hard for me to write.
But I wanted to write it for him. To honor their marriage and their love.
Dad also told me this week that their favorite singer when they first got married was Jim Reeves. I found one of his songs that I think is perfect for them and made a video.
God blessed you with an amazing woman and an amazing marriage. He gave you 44 wonderful years together here on this earth. And what a comfort to know that you will spend an infinite number of years with her someday in heaven. I love you. Traci