40 years

My parents are extraordinary people.
Today, they celebrate 40 years of marriage. And they’re celebrating from two different states.
My older sister is moving into her new home this weekend, and though she protested mightily, my father insisted on driving down to New Jersey to help her family with the taxing process.
It was a decision he and my mom made together, as is the custom with most solid partnerships. When I told Mom I was sad to hear she’d be alone on their special day, I could practically see her shrug through the phone. “It is a special day, but your sister needs help and that’s more important right now. Your father will be back late Sunday night and he has Monday off work, so we’ll celebrate then.”
I suppose when you’ve made it 40 years together, waiting one more day to recognize such a milestone probably doesn’t seem like a big deal.
The big deal to me is how many times over the years I have witnessed them putting others before themselves. Not just the sacrifice of taking out a second mortgage to help put their kids through college, or the personal time lost in favor of softball games and track meets and band concerts. But also the little moments that slipped away while they were busy volunteering at the church or opening their home to foreign exchange students, traveling musicians, and friends of their daughters who were desperate for some parental attention, a hot meal and a hug.
There was a time when I thought they had invested too much in their kids, that they weren’t focusing on themselves enough, on each other. But now I see that the bond of family and all that comes with it is not just the glue that holds them together, but the common passion that brought them together.
I am so thankful for that glue, and so blessed to have been brought up with that kind of love. Through the good and bad, the ups and downs, the lean times and the times of plenty, congratulations, Mom and Dad, on 40 years as husband and wife.


Sheila said...

From someone who has trouble committing to something as simple as buying a sofa, I offer a hefty congrats to Pat and Tom. Happy anniversary!

Kim said...

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad Rydzy! I sure miss you guys!

Momto3LittleFlowers said...

Wow! Congratulations to them!!