On this day seventy-seven years ago my parents were married. No, they are no longer here. The last anniversary they shared was their sixty-ninth, in 2000. Then within six weeks, my dad was gone at age 90, and three weeks later, so was my mom, aged 88. Sadly, at the time of that anniversary my mom was already wandering in the no man's land of Alzheimer's. I suspect that she wasn't aware of the anniversary before that one, either, at least not on a level that we understand.
But my parents had a connection that transcends the typical concept of "communication."
I'm sure of that, not because I have any kind of proof, but my gut tells me so. There were just things that I couldn't help but feel were signs of their very special relationship. And I was completely convinced of this fact when my mom chose to quit accepting sustenance just a few days after Daddy died. She wanted to be with him, I'm sure. And what Mama might have had in her head and her heart on that anniversary eight years ago, well, it's anyone's guess.
I'm writing this because I've been thinking of them today, their day. I think it is a marvel that they stayed together through all kinds of ups and downs, wonderful times and times that would take most of us to our knees, and they kept seeking for the silver lining on the clouds, despite it all. I wonder how many of us could begin to believe in ourselves and our partners the way my parents did. They were both strong in body and will. Strong bodied from the years of farm life, decades of keeping up with us kids and even grandkids, working at later jobs that kept their bodies in shape, then going home to work in the garden. Strong willed, because they simply would not give up, give in. Even stubborn, each in his/her own way, and often to the angst of us kids as we tried to help in ways that they saw as interfering. Not all sunshine and beauty, for sure. However, without those qualities and the trials of life, they might not have made it to those marvelous statistical ages and anniversaries.
Sometimes, the hard times seem to make the people living them pull together, stronger for their experiences. I'm glad my parents had that kind of bond. My own haven't been that strong, unfortunately, but I still believe I've gained from the bit of simple fortune I was blessed with, just being their daughter. And I'm very happy for that.
Happy Anniversary, Mother and Daddy.