Happy 51st Anniversary, Mama and Daddy! This day is forever sealed in your hearts, impressed by that first official ceremonial kiss.
My practice of presence today stems from feeling their love. An enduring love it was, and one that fills me today with the hope of experiencing their “growing old together” kind of romance.
Some, like my brother and sister-in-law, begin their life-long journey at a seemingly impossible young age. Mom and Dad weren’t much beyond that age; in fact, Dad was two weeks shy of his 21st birthday when they married so he had to get written permission from his own father!
My bite from the love bug came decades past their young ages. I like to think Mom and Dad modeled nourishing, respectful and enduring love for me to emulate. I like to think that as their long-distance run together was drawing to a close, they passed the baton on to me as a metaphorical way to continue their journey.
My brother’s relationship exemplifies the transition between early marriage/young adult struggles and the middle, empty nest years, like our folks. I get to experience the late bloom of love, the fun-in-the-sun, frolicking kind of love as well as the quiet, reflective, count-the-stars-in-God’s-painted-sky kind of love.
In this moment of presence, on the 51st anniversary of their wedding, I am grateful for Mom and Dad’s legacy of love, for their dedication to the highs and lows as a couple and for their resolution to bring individuality to their union.
Mom’s passing simply means she is no longer in Dad’s moment-by-moment presence but I know he still feels her soulfully near. It’s written in the sweetness of his face. Her love comes through in the way he gently laughs as he recalls a fond memory. I still see her in his eyes and believe with all my heart that when he looks at me, it’s with a dual gaze, a combined vision of 51 years spent living in love.
I celebrate them both tonight as I reach for the phone to call Dad and ache for one more talk with Mom.