Fifty years ago today, with nothing but love, faith, and a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, my mom and dad eloped. They were young, in love, and sure of themselves.
It was Valentine’s Day.
Other than the fact they married on this “Lovers’ Day”, I never thought of my parents as a traditionally romantic couple. Of course, my point of reference was always skewed being their daughter and the youngest of their three children.
By the time my older brothers were out of the house due to college or work, I seemed to be the third wheel whenever they wanted to go out to dinner or travel, but they always insisted I wasn’t ruining their time together.
Dad didn’t present Mom with obligatory flowers nor did she surprise him with tickets to the Daytona 500. But I’m finding they were certainly romantic.
As I’ve grown older and just marked my twentieth anniversary with my husband (we’ve been together 27 years), I finally understand better about romance.
Here are the things I’ve learned about Love, Marriage, and Romance as we celebrate my parents’ fifty years of matrimony.
Love is powerful.
Romance is a state of mind.
Taking out the garbage, caring for the cars, mowing the lawn, and painting are ways of showing love.
Making the meals, grocery shopping, keeping the house, and raising the children with love is, too.
Holding hands keeps you connected.
Kissing is soothing.
Fighting is part of marriage. When you stop communicating you stop caring.
Forgiveness is the key.
Have separate passions.
Have a lock for the bedroom door.
Enjoy time with your children.
Enjoy time with your friends.
Enjoy time alone.
Enjoy time with your spouse alone.
Appreciate your happy home life.
Treat yourself to a night out.
See one another as the sexy, beautiful mate you fell in love with – always.
Speak kindly to your spouse.
Speak kindly about your spouse to others.
Know what your spouse is thinking – “Remember that movie with what’s her name?” “Yes, dear, that was Elizabeth Taylor.” No other details are needed, just filling in the blanks.
Delight in one another’s accomplishments.
Be there for one another when things don’t go well.
Know your strengths and weaknesses and your mate's. Fill in one another’s gaps.
Have pet names for one another.
Smile at one another.
Set long term goals.
Enjoy the here and now.
Have two sinks.
Have two toilets.
Give one another massages.
Bring each other coffee/tea/wine.
Call in the middle of the day to say, “I love you.”
Run errands together even when you don’t “have” to.
Never criticize the other’s driving.
Listen to one another without judgment.
Keep your sense of humor always.
Be best friends with your spouse.
Lose an argument.
Compliment one another.
Complement one another.
Kiss often and always.
True to form, my parents do not even understand why people are making a big fuss about their 50th anniversary.
I told them, “Not everybody makes it this long. People give up, give in, and let go. Some married much later and are not blessed with longevity. You two have made it to this wonderful milestone. People are happy for you, in awe of your commitment, and want to celebrate such wonderful news!”
My parents completely understand. They are enjoying the fuss people are making even if it embarrasses them a bit, too.
I’m just feeling so fortunate to have them to love, celebrate their marriage, and serve as a product of their love.
Happy 50th Anniversary Mom and Dad! And many many many happy more years together! XO XO