Mom and Dad
True love comes in different packages. I have been thinking of couples who have survived the test of time and made it to their 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th wedding anniversary.
Each year is an accomplishment in itself. If you ask any of these couples just what their secret is-I am sure that their answers will all be very different.
Our Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe were married for over 60 years. Aunt Chloe as I mentioned before was an avid reader of the Reader's Digest and was easily impressed by their health articles. Uncle Tom was a gentle courtly cowboy. His voice was soft and smooth. He always wore leather gloves even when driving. He always called her Mother and she called him "Poor Little Guy".
Our Uncle Les was Chloe's brother. He and his wife Thelma were married for over 60 years too. Aunt Thelma was a mix of salt and sugar. She was a wonderful woman with a huge library of stories to tell. But she didn't suffer fools gladly and could be a little tart when she disclosed her sister-in-law's notions. Uncle Les was a tall gentle giant with a ready smile.
Our own parents were married for 58 years. I don't think that they had any big secret as to the longevity of their relationship except that they respected each other. Like any marriage where were times when they had tiffs. Dad loved to tease and sometimes went a little too far. Mom waited on him hand and foot and spoiled him. Dad displayed his affection to our mother with simple things. A flower that he picked while he was out riding; Coffee and breakfast in bed for her birthday or a poem or letter that he had written.
Now our Uncle Frank and Aunt Rita were a hard couple to figure out. Their dynamic was bickering. He called her "old woman" and she called him "old man". Their crankiness with each other increased when each of them grew hard of hearing. We enjoyed their company when they always came for spring branding. They seemed to have more vinegar than honey in their marriage.
Our Aunt Norma was our mother's oldest sister. Widowed at a young age with 4 small children; she married again and had two more children. Uncle Bob was a big happy guy. He had a boisterous sense of humor while Aunt Norma was a little more serious. They were a devoted couple celebrating 32 years of marriage until her untimely death. I think that I will write more about her in a later blog.
There is a certain chemistry that each couple experience when they first meet. It can be powerful & explosive or a slow simmering burn. Sometimes it is just a quiet assurance that this is the person that they want to spend the rest of their life with.
Bill and Cora Davies lived here in Missouri. They had been married for over 60 years themselves when I first met them. It was Bill's comments about his wife, that helped me realize what true love was. He described how much he loved "Mama". Just holding her hand in church gave him great pleasure. He would say, "We got to hold hands in church and oh, it was so nice".
His gentleness and sweetness toward his wife gave me an insight as to what I wanted with my second chance at love and marriage. Each of these other couples and their devotion to each other was instrumental in helping recognize that I needed to be the right person when I found "Mr. Right".
David is my Sweetheart. He has gone out into the pouring rain to check the oil in my car, because I happen to mention that I think it might be low. He kills spiders for me even though I should be capable of doing that for myself. Most of all, he believes in my abilities and encourages me to go after my interests.
We all know some happy couples and some miserable ones too. Longevity in marriage is not much of an accomplishment if both of you hate or resent each other.
The icing in the cake in any marriage is that you still like each other as the years pass. Those moments of joy each couple experiences together can help them weather any storm that comes along.
And, if you are able to express your appreciation for each other with a few "magic" words- no grand gestures will be necessary. "Thank-You, I am sorry, You make me happy, I am listening, I was just thinking that myself.
And of course the most powerful phrase of all, "I Love You".