Wednesday, May 11, 2005

May 12, 1967

Oscar Wilde is appalled by people who wash their clean laundry in public. Nevertheless, I have to take a moment to brag about my parents.

Thirty-eight years ago today, they got married. They were barely into their twenties (they'd just graduated from university, having started it early as precocious youngsters). It being 1967, the bride wore a yellow hand-crocheted dress, and the wedding photos were taken on the lawn of the Unitarian church they'd found for the occasion. They were still just kids. They freely admit that they had absolutely no idea what they were getting into.

They've kept the promises that they made that day.



...I'm trying to think of something to add to that statement. It stands by itself. It's utterly staggering.

Two things come immediately mind when I try to talk about their relationship. One is a line Mom used in one of her sermons, about how human love exists to give us a foretaste of God's love, and how she experiences God's love in her own life by means of the tender, steadfast love of her husband. (That one still makes me a little teary.) The other is Dad's habit of kissing Mom the moment he came in the door when he got home from work. I can't remember a single time, through a long career that often made him compare himself wistfully to Count Belisarius, when he let himself get too preoccupied to greet her properly.

When I start counting my blessings, sometimes it seems redundant to list anything except my parents. I didn't do anything to deserve to be born to people who would model for me whole-hearted ethical compassion, and who would show me how love can be used as the organizing principle of a life--one's own life, the life of a family, and the life of a community.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.


family, 1975 Posted by Hello

3 comments:

Gregg P. said...

And I'm all verklempt! I love your mom's saying about "how human love exists to give us a foretaste of God's love, and how she experiences God's love in her own life by means of the tender, steadfast love of her husband." Please let her know that I am stealing it and planning on using it, probably without attribution.

Ray in New Orleans said...

When I first saw the picture, I thought "wow, great picture of Rachel, but who's that guy with the baby?"

MomLes said...

You're making me weep all over again.

Promises like that are easier to keep when you have kids like you and your brother who need to have them kept. And they're worth keeping when the result is kids like you two.

I love all of you - your father, your brother and you.