My parents, and their enduring love

My parents may never have been the most passionate of couples, but their love for one another endured for 40 years, and that’s saying a lot in today’s world. I remember being one of the only kids at school whose parents had NOT divorced, and all of the pain and suffering broken marriages inflict upon children. I don’t believe parents should stay together for the kids, because children are way smarter than we give them credit for and can see through artificial arrangements like that quite easily. I’m not sure what the answers are, but I think we have many more selfish expectations now about our ideal relationship, and when reality strikes, we are more than willing to jump ship.

My parents’ generation was different. A marriage vow was taken more seriously and literally. Sure, there were still divorces, but the vow wasn’t nearly as disposable as it is now. When my parents married in 1971, at 34 and 39, they were quite a bit older than the average marriage age for their generation. They found love later in life, and my dad may not have been the flashy guy with the cool car, like the type my mom had dated in the past. But my dad intrigued my mom, with his Irish accent and striking dark and handsome features. Dad was always more mum on what attracted him to mom.

Their relationship was not always perfect. There were fights, there were threats of divorce, but it all blew over and for the last half of their marriage, they had settled into a comfortable companionship. They were dependent upon one another yet independent in certain aspects, at least until my dad became ill. And the way my mom sacrificed to take care of dad, the toils of caregiving, the long trek to see him in the nursing home, she deserves a medal in my book. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what it is.

So happy Valentine’s Day Mom and Dad. You taught me more about love than I ever gave you credit for.

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