65 Years of Journeying

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                              August 13, 2013

     Today is the 65th wedding anniversary of my mom and dad. Not many people can say they’ve been married to the same person for 65 years. It’s one of those things that people respond to with wide-open eyes of unbelief and ask “How long did you say???”

My mom and dad “lasted” this long because…because…here it comes…they loved each other and love each other deeply.

The problem is that few people today know what ingredients go into a recipe for love. It’s not always the warm fuzzies that people think it tastes like.

Let me tell you what I believe has gone into my parents’ marriage.

The Salt of Shared Pain- I remember hearing conversations of loss. When words left their sting on my mom, my dad would be the listening ear, the agent of comfort. As they went through the difficulties of losing parents and siblings to death they cried on one another’s shoulders. Pain can often be lonely business. It can cause us to retreat into a place of isolation, but Mom and Dad walked through it together.

The Cinnamon of Intimacy- My parents did not shy away from embracing or kissing one another in front of their three kids. One of the things I remember my mom saying to my dad quite often was “Kiss me, Slobber Lips! I can swim!” I crack up when I think about that still. They conveyed through their hugs and words that they loved pne another. It seems that this usually happened right after dinner, which takes in the next ingredient.

The Sauce of Servanthood- I don’t remember that dinner was the responsibility of just one of them. Although my mom did most of the cooking, Dad would be involved in setting the table, or washing the dishes (unless it fell to one of the kids). When we had mashed potatoes he always got the assignment. Whenever we had liver and onions, not one of our favorites, he was tasked with the cooking. If it was fried chicken or cooking a pot of garden fresh green beans, it was Mom’s turn to shine. The smooch after dinner was almost like a kiss of appreciation and partnership. They had finished the day of work and home duties together.

The Cream of Commitment- Like cream in a soup that filters through the whole batch, my parents committed to one another…for better or for worse…for richer, or, for most of the time…poorer…in sickness and in health (That is the everyday journey right now!). I had never heard of the word divorce until my Uncle George got married. And then when he got remarried to someone else I didn’t understand it, because Mom and Dad were always together. It didn’t matter when the income was barely able, if possible, to meet the bills. It just meant a couple of more meals of beans. I can’t even picture one of my parents not being there, because they have been…for sixty-five years!

The Vanilla of Spirituality- Some people see the word vanilla and they think it indicates blandness, dullness, but the ingredient of vanilla is precious. In lay terms it’s expensive! My parents marriage has been a dance with God. I’ve never known a time in my life when I didn’t go to church…except for about a year in college when Bedside Baptist gained a new member, and I was enjoying the Sunday morning messages delivered by Reverend Sheets. I was raised in church, but my parents modeled Christ-like behavior and lives. My dad’s meal-time grace was heart-felt. Mom’s involvement in choir and a women’s missionary circle were exercised expressions of her Christian walk. They sat in worship together Sunday morning and Sunday evening. I wanted to be a Methodist growing up because I knew their children were home watching Walt Disney while I was sitting in a church pew. Mom and Dad always sat together in church, side-by-side, unless they had a kid between them that needed to be “secured!”

The Sugar of Simplicity- Mom and Dad were not defined by their possessions, their home, the cars they drove. They seemed to like American-built cars back in the day, but that didn’t matter that much. Whatever they had they took extremely good care of it. Vacations were spent back on my grandparents’ farm in Oil Springs, Kentucky, and that usually meant helping Mamaw and Papaw Helton with some of the farm chores. Relaxing was sitting in one of the front porch swings watching the occasional cars drive past. That simplicity, however, was special. Watching The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday night after getting home from church (still a little disgruntled about the Disney thing!), while eating popcorn…that was a picture of our family. That was special and meaningful.

The recipe has several other ingredients that have been put into he soup, but, I guess what I’m saying is that my parents’ 65 year marriage shouldn’t be the oddity. Is it wrong to think that it should be the norm?

Would the world be a little less chaotic and topsy-turvy if my mom and dad weren’t see as being unusual?

Explore posts in the same categories: children, Christianity, Community, Faith, Freedom, Grace, Jesus, love, marriage, Story, Uncategorized

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2 Comments on “65 Years of Journeying”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    Beautifully written! What a testament to marriage! Thanks for sharing! ~Blessings~

    • wordsfromww Says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. My mom is in her last days, so this anniversary has a bit of bittersweetness to it.


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