Happy 50th Anniversary
My earliest memories of my parents are when we lived here in Springfield at CBC. I remember walking hand-in-hand, the three of us, at night looking up at the stars. I remember feeling safe and happy.
I’m not like my mother, who seems to remember every detail of her life from birth on. So, my next memories really come from our lives in Ohio.
We lived across the street from the church that Dad ministered at. Mom worked at the church daycare. I was pretty young, but Mom would let me sleep in, make my own breakfast and then call her. She would then meet me at the street and take me to the church with her. One morning, I got up and made waffles. The syrup had something in it, but mom laid it out, so I knew it was fine…maybe butter or something. Later that evening, much to her horror, I had eaten molded syrup. Thanks, Mom.
In Ohio, we used to watch Wide World of Sports every Saturday evening (at least it seemed like every Saturday to me). Mom would make cheese fondue and the three of us would sit on the floor at the coffee table eating fondue with our color tipped fondue forks. I always loved that. We would never try that today…because the three of us would never be able to pull ourselves up off of the floor.
One year, we had a blizzard. We didn’t have running water, as I remember, and brought in buckets of snow to melt. That really made flushing the toilet much more tedious.
There was a Thanksgiving that we visited my Aunt and Uncle in Indiana. My cousin had a stomach virus, but my Aunt said she would keep him isolated. We had a nice visit. Then came the ride home. I remember Dad driving in the dark saying, “Oh Jesus. Jesus help me. Oh Jesus.” As soon as we got home, he ran to the bathroom. That night it continued to spread to my mom and to myself. We were a family that always loved to share.
Every summer my parents allowed me to spend a few weeks with my cousins. One year while I was gone, they redid my bedroom. They carpeted my room in a bright yellow. I remember Dad saying it was because I reminded him of the sunshine. I thought that was sweet. A few years later, I’m sure he referred to me as a tornado, but that is another story.
Once I had finally given up on the notion of wanting a younger brother or sister and realized that being an only child was the life for me, my parents interrupted my life and brought my brother into it. Soon after that, we moved to Pennsylvania. One evening my mom had left and I walked down the hall toward my brother’s room. I peeked in to catch my dad standing over my brother gagging and convulsing as he changed a dirty diaper. Having pity on him, I went in and took over. Yes folks, I was ten years old. But, you know, changing a dirty diaper is really hard work…Right?
My parents managed to make it through my heart-throbs and heart-breaks, my friends and my fights, my smart mouth and my rolling eyes. They taught me right and wrong. They led me to Jesus. They hugged me when sometimes I wasn’t very loveable. But, that is enough about me. What about them?
My dad stepped into my mom’s life not long after high school. Mom had never been told she was loved before. He brought her into a loving family who accepted her and cared for her. They began life together having no idea the journey they would face. I’ve watched my parents go through trial after trial, struggle after struggle. And, yet, they have never ever wavered in their desire to love the Lord.
Today I look at them, knowing that yet again life is rocky. And, yet, over the past few months, I have seen a deeper respect develop between them. Often we are out and I see them holding hands. Do they always like each other? I doubt it. But, they love each other. They took a vow 50 years ago and they took it seriously….a vow not to be broken for Better or for Worse.
You two are my heroes and I love you.