My Mom and Dad met in May of 1968 and married just 9 months later on February 8, 1969. Today my parents celebrate 48 years of marriage as husband and wife. For almost 5 decades my folks have built a life together, cultivated a family and been an example to so many of what true timeless love is. Growing up as my parents daughter I not only felt un-conditional love but I saw it in practice, in everyday life. I watched my parents, listened to them and felt their constant encouragement. I not only saw their love flourish through both good and bad times, I felt their love each and every day of my life, seeing it in continuous motion. To say my parents have endured trial by fire is an understatement. To say they have overcome does not begin to explain their extraordinary spirits. Defeat, despair, self-pity or even resentfulness have never seemed to take root. This is despite the unfairness of the situations and circumstances they've had to face together through the years. My Mom and Dad have shown me through their examples, "Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is."
After 48 years, my parents are just as in love, if not more than the day they said "I do." Over the decades they have learned what it means to sacrifice and yes what true love actually is. Perfect, no not in the least. I mean the Word of God is clear, no one except God is without sin. What they have together, what they have built, pruned and grown is a timeless love transcending a lifetime hand and hand. They love each imperfection, and think of one another first. I have never seen my parents possessive of one another, feeling they owned the other nor have they been jaded by or condescending to each other. What I have been witness to my whole life, from an early age is a very real, compassionate, playful,thoughtful,humble and genuine, authentic kind of love. The kind of love that stays with you, changes you and inspires you. My parents love is a once in a lifetime kind of love. You can see it in the way my dad opens the door for my mom or in the way my mom says my dad's name. You can hear it in the way they whisper, "I love you." And you can feel it in the way they enter a room, hand and hand.
Growing up I was awe struck by my parents. I wanted to grow up and be just like them. They never ceased to amaze me with their ability to give, to open our home and to love not only me and each other but others so unconditionally. I watched them stumble, fall and even question God from time to time but I also saw them get back up TOGETHER. Looking back, I can see Paul Newman's advice rings true,"People stay married because they want to, not because the door's locked." Piece by piece my parents built a life together and have taken care of one another everyday. There's no shame in the struggle, but there is a beautiful intimacy that develops when two people overcome the obstacles together. I have been witness to this very voyage for over 43 of my parents 48 years together and believe me it's quite a beautiful tale worth telling..What I can tell you is this: I love the fact my parents don't even have to try, they always have a good time together. This is self evident, not only in pictures or in status updates but in the presence of their company. My parents taught me how to laugh, a lot and to be spontaneous, to be authentic and to forgive and forget. Being my parents daughter I mastered how to fight fair, speak up, forgive and let it go. My Mom and Dad showed me each and every day that being kind was far better than being right, and practicing kindness far more rewarding than having the last word.
Through the years, I have seen my Mom and Dad face many challenges, face uncertainty and heartache and yet I have never seen them waiver from each other. I am thankful for all they have taught me, shown me and given me. I love the way lovendar.com speaks of the Love Rules. "Never take each other for granted. Remember to still go on dates. Try something new together. Say "I LOVE YOU." Remember why you fell in love. Respect each other, Be spontaneous. Celebrate the special days. End an argument as soon as possible. Be WILLING to COMPROMISE. Grow old together." And why do I love these rules so much? Well because these rules are as close to our own family rules as it gets. This is how I grew up, and what I took away as the child of some very remarkable and extraordinary parents. And so today as I share Life Lesson #112 ~ Timeless Love, I can say without a doubt love, real, genuine, timeless love knows no bounds, nor does it understand the notion of time. Timeless love is true love, and it can never be measured or confined. Just as Genesis 2:24 says,"The two became one." my parents heart began to beat in sync. And so my story began that day too, on that one cold winter 1969 February morning in Philadelphia Pennsylvania when my parents set out on their journey together.
Happy Anniversary Mama and Daddy. You have paved the way not only for your daughter and her husband, your grandsons and their one day loves, but also for all those who know you. Thank you for teaching me FAMILY IS EVERYTHING. I'm truly grateful for your imperfect, amazing example of timeless love. Just as Lisa Jackson explains,"Some secrets are meant to be passed on."
Your forever loving, awe-inspired and grateful daughter,