June 11, 2009

Always and Forever

Young people often have a romanticized view of love and marriage. Many females fantasize about a future wedding from a very young age, creating scenarios in our heads that involve some modern-day Prince Charming stealing us from the mundane and taking us off on a white steed into a perfect forever. In our fantasy, we are like swans, together forever.

Real life is often not like that. Half the first marriages in this country end up in divorce, and the rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.

So while I admit to setting my parents up on a pedestal, maybe after 54 years of marriage they deserve it. They are an example to their grandchildren and other young people of commitment over time, and love deeper than the ocean.

My parents were married in a little country church on a warm June day in 1955. (In 1984 Husband and I were married at the same church, and celebrate 25 years of marriage this fall.

In my continued quest to put our family slides on disk, I came across a shot of the above intimate moment. In 1955 the conservative Lutheran minister would not let my parents kiss in the sanctuary. Mr. Pook, a friend of the family, shot this photo immediately after my parents came out of the church. Dad was 25 years old -- Mom was 23. On Monday after their Saturday wedding, Dad started graduate school at Purdue.

Now they are back living just a mile away from their student housing studio apartment where they began their married life. Dad still is active with everything he touches, and intellectually engaged in the world. My mother lives in a world of bliss, of memories not of today but only of long ago, days like the one 54 years ago where she wore a tea-length white lace dress. I love you, Mom and Dad. Quoth the raven.