It's February, soon to be Valentines. I've never really had a "romantic" Valentines Day to be honest, (aside from a couple long distance gifts/flowers sent in the mail). What I remember most about previous celebrations to this day of love is the covering of shoe box's with paper hearts, eating cinnamon lips, road trips to Vegas or dinners out with single girl friends or coming home to dinners made by mom with a special Valentine by our plates. Speaking of Mom, I want to tell you a story. This is really what my post is about.
I've taken several classes on child development/attachment in my university studies. Almost every piece of evidence I have gathered over the years suggest we learn how to love from our caregivers/parents. I suppose I have had some other experiences that have taught me about love, my work with children has impacted me greatly on this subject, but tonight, or this morning if you will, as I explore this topic, I am touched by my own parents story.
My parents didn't start off being madly in love. In fact, in their early courtship, my father was "exploring his options", and was actually dating my mom and another girl at the time. We still tease him about this. How my mother endured those months with patience, I still wonder, but she's offered me a lot of strength as men I date sometimes want to explore as well. Finally, my father came to his senses and gave up the other girl and brought daisies to my mom. He proposed shortly after. A wise friend once told me, "If two people are to be married, you can't mess it up". I believed my parents were destined to be together and it is only more evident as they age.
My parents are a wonderful example of two people struggling together and pulling through circumstances. I am sure in my early childhood my parents went through difficult times, but I honestly and truthfully can say I have never seen them fight. My father also defended my mother when we would get cross with her. I have grown to adore him for that. He put her first.
Over forty years of marriage has grown into something exquisite. My father's health has declined tremendously since he had a stroke 14 years ago, and even more so the past few months. When my father first came out of the stroke and we found out he was paralyzed from the waste down it was heartbreaking. I have wept myself, several times over this. Seeing him struggle to balance and walk and not to the things he used to is excruciating. But my mother, has been his angel. She has been our family's angel. She has never left his side and now as I see her take care of him it warms my heart. They've laughed and cried together, played countless games of "Ticket to Ride", and have really enjoyed each others company the past few years. My parents are a true example of commitment. I couldn't ask for a greater gift in my lifetime than this example. I only hope that this loyalty and depth develops in my own marriage (if/when that time comes for me). Right now I am just grateful for the fascinating love story.