Thursday, February 12, 2009

27 Years

Typing that title reminded me of 27 Dresses, a movie that my mom would probably enjoy watching with me, although she'd have a hard time getting anyone who currently lives in the house with her to watch it with her. I don't get to see my family enough and I miss them - something I realized sharply today as I read letters from my sponsored child. Her letters are written by her grandparents, her father, her uncle - whomever she happens to be with that day. She gets to see them all, all the time. I told her she was lucky to have her family so close to her. She's probably too young to understand but that's okay.

It's fitting that I miss my family today, I suppose. Today, 27 years ago, my parents got married in the living room of the local Justice of the Peace. Rumour has it they had a fit of the giggles; that my mother took my father as her awfully wedded husband; that they forgot they needed more than one witness and had to get the daughter of the JP to sign the papers for them. Not what most would call an auspicious start to a marriage.

But hey. They must have done something right. 27 years of marriage is not a common achievement anymore. Probably because it takes a hell of a lot of work. Work that my parents have not always done with the gusto and enthusiasm that they have for it today. There were times when I was small that I was so afraid they'd get divorced and I'd never see my dad again. Or worse, I'd have to choose one of them to live with, and how does any child make that decision? It weighed on my young mind.

I am so grateful to them that I never had to make that choice. That they did do the work, and they did stick it out, and that they are still together today. And happy. They are happy, and that is something too because not all couples who have made 27 years are happy about it. Not every long-lasting marriage is as healthy as my parent's. Not every long-lasting marriage has two partners in it.

That's what my parents are. They are partners, and it makes my eyes tear up - why? Pride? Love? Joy? Probably a bit of all of those. Relief too. It is such a relief to see that in two people. I take a lot of hope from seeing my parents in their lives and their relationship. Nothing, or nearly nothing, is insurmountable in love if you are committed to making it work.

I see them together, knowing each other. My dad looks for something and without asking what he's looking for my mom will tell him where to find it. And she's right, and she just knew what he was after, without being told. I see my dad, loving my mom, and the joy and playfulness that is there makes the world an alright place to be.

It makes me have hope for myself. As a person. As a lover. As someone in a relationship. Possibly as a parent someday.

It gives me hope for the world.

So today - raise a glass with me to my parents, to their 27 years of growing together. May your joys increase. Your love always fill you up past overflowing. And may you share at least another 27 years together. I love you very much.

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