September 23, 2010

Forty-nine years of "I do's"

He smiles her way as the waiter takes our orders.  They've been married forty-nine years and my father is still passionate about this woman he sits next to at a German restaurant.  It's an honor to be able to share it with them as well as the company of my sister, her love and the man of my dreams.

Were they wonderful years?  They would say an emphatic yes, especially my dad, as he chokes up from telling me how he found, just two days ago, a letter my mother secretly wrote him in his joke notebook.

It was written with the intent that she would pass first and then he'd find it. 

But she's still here, and he found it.

Yet words like these have never been spoken...she's not one for sentiment.
If I could hold you in my arms forever, it woud be something I would treasure forever.
For I never thought our love could last--troubles and hardships, as you call it.
But we made it SOMEHOW.
Love is something to really consider.
Between us both we have conquered.
I'm so proud of you my Darling; 
without you, there would be nothing. 
God Bless You, Donald. 
(used with permission.)

We lingered a while after the meal to share stories of growing up, the changes in each of these two daughters, the silly things we did.  But then mom began to have shortness of breath, and we knew it was time to get her home.  Age seems to have a way of defining moments, be it an infant or an 81 3/4 yr. old woman. 

I excused myself for a moment to the ladie's room and began to think of what it's like to be her.  She no longer has a desire to engage in conversation.  Her brain has kind of shut off.  Grieves me.  But, in reality, I've never had anything terribly deep with my mom.  She's always just been mom.  I can't go back and wish for something that never was to begin with.  I have today and only today to engage her on her terms, not mine. 
And that's fine. 
This moment in time has been a gift to treasure.
There will come a day when we will sit at the anniversary table remembering what we had with them. 
It will be good memories.

They are both wearing plaid...not sure if that was planned, but it fits them well!

It was a great meal and a great memory. 
Next year they want a big celebration and if they are both still around, a big celebration they'll get!

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