An Example

My relationship record isn’t pretty. I haven’t always selected wisely and although I’ve reached the point of accepting and appreciating the people and places that have molded me into who I am today, it doesn’t mean the road was easy.  Hoped realities don’t always come to pass and heartache sometimes leaves a scar despite the wound having healed. We all have stories that we would wish away if we could; we all have stories that make us question the risk of the fall.  I do, and I’m certain you do too. But the hopeless romantic that I am always brings me back.  Perhaps more tentatively or cautiously than times before, but I always come back.  And I think I have finally figured out why: I grew up with the exception. I grew up witnessing great love.

Today my parents celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, which by today’s standards is more than most could fathom.

For as long as I’ve been cognizant enough to actually ingest the relationship I watched unfold before me I’ve seen one common thread: my parents, 25 years later, still completely adore one other.  I have watched them fight and I’ve seen them reconcile.  I’ve seen them bite their tongues and I’ve been them lose their patience.  I’ve seen them giggle with each other harder than schoolchildren when they think no one is watching.  I’ve seen them be each other’s sounding boards, confidants, and challengers. Chiefly, I’ve seen them work everyday to keep their marriage.

To this day I watch my father employ old-time chivalry in all manners with my mother.  She is the priority.  And it took me a long time to understand these acts did not stem from passive patronizing but rather from abounding respect. My father honors my mother to the very best of his ability in every aspect, in every moment. Equally, I watch as my mother cores mounds of apples with a small, quite smile on her face as she makes the apple pie that my father loves not because he needs it, but because she knows it’s his favorite.  That same small smile is the one that allows a person to look at her and in an instant see the woman of twenty years ago who hoped and prayed her new husband liked the pie she’d just made as a surprise.  It’s the same smile that gives way to the beam that if you blink you’ll miss in his exclamations of how it is the best apple pie that exists. She adores him.

This gives me hope, and this is what hides in the crevices of my heart.  This belief that marriage can still work today, despite all the gloom and doom and statistics of failure.  Because of my parents’ continued effort, I consider myself an old-fashion romantic of the truest kind, and this is because I grew up witnessing that it was possible. I grew up witnessing a marriage that did not settle for good love, but strives for great love; and it has lasted twenty-five years with each giving just as much today as they did on day one.

With so great an example, this is the love I too hope to find. When you grow up with great love, you want nothing less.


4 thoughts on “An Example

  1. My dearest Anna,
    It is my prayer that you will indeed find such a great love. You are certainly worthy of such and even greater (if that is possible). Learn from our examples, the good, the not so good and everything in between. Marriage can be work, but for the most part it’s just fun! Find the one that makes you (and all the God has created you to be) even better and you too will be happy and blessed.
    I look forward to the day when I will be able to walk you down the isle and you begin the wonderful adventure of “the married life”. Be patient for God is preparing the heart of the one He has for you.

  2. My Anna,

    Speechless; honored; blessed. May the One who granted to us so great a love grant you even more. It is our heart, our prayer and one of our deepest desires. It is His heart that makes yours beat w/such passion. Blessings on you my sweet daughter.

  3. Such insight you have, my sweetness. That was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL tribute to the 25 years your parents have put into loving each other. Not only are they blessed with having each other but they also have 3 WONDERFUL children and we LOVE all five of you, soooooooooo very,very much.

  4. I, too, have looked at your parents’ marriage as an example of what it should be, and I think you put it into words perfectly. Cannot wait to spend more time with all of you over Christmas!

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