(Photo by Barbara Heckman) Today is my parents 32nd Wedding Anniversary! After just celebrating my 1st anniversary, I find it hard to imagine celebrating 32 but I also now understand how quickly it can fly by.
When I was little, I was very sensitive to people fighting in our house (overly sensitive). Any time someone was having an argument, even if it wasn't that heated, I would go to my room and hide in the closet and cry. Even if it didn't involve me. I still hate to argue at all. I remember one evening my parents had an argument, and I proceeded to my closet in the usual fashion. I have no idea what it was about. But as I sat there crying, the door to my closet creeped open and both my parents faces were silhouetted by the light from my room. They both pulled me out into their arms and comforted me. "What's wrong sweetie?" My Mother asked. I swallowed down the hot tears as I got the courage to ask a question I was deeply afraid of. "Are you going to get a divorce?" Both their faces were shocked. I had obviously learned that word at school because it was never said in our house. I explained that I had heard at school that other kid's parents had fought and then they had gotten a divorce. They both held me tighter. My Dad said, "No sweetie, your Mother and I love each other very much. Even when we fight. We're going to be together for a very very long time." The seriousness and meaning behind that statement reassured me, and I have never forgotten it.
I'm not going to get into whether divorce is wrong or right. I think at times divorce can be a necessary procedure, and can end up being the best things for families. But divorce was never an option for my parents from the start. Their marriage I'm sure has not always been easy, they have had wonderful days and very hard days, but they put their hearts and their hard work into their marriage, every day. My Father was the minister at Speed Racer and I's wedding, and I remember him saying,"Some people say that once you get married the work is done, but that's not so. It's like saying you're done building once you've gotten a building permit. Building a marriage is only as good as what you put into it...when you have bad days, remember this day, and the love you share at this moment."
My Grandmother also used to say, "Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."
It seems that my parents treated each day as their wedding day and honeymoon, each day was special. And they have never forgotten to make a life together. Their 32 years together is a testament to their devotion, and something we can all strive for.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, thank you for setting such a great example of marriage these past 32 years, I hope you have many more happy years together.