As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my parents have been together since high school. It hasn't always been easy, that much I know. They had one of those marriages that shouldn't have worked, under any circumstances. But my parents are stubborn people, and they love each other enough that they've gotten past all the hard times. They're best friends and have always existed in a little bubble that contains only them. Don't get me wrong, they adore my brother and I and would do anything for us. However, the ranking order that Mom and Dad use in life is, and always has been, God, their marriage, then us kids. And that actually gave my brother and I a great deal of security, knowing that their marriage was a priority, and believing that it would always be a constant in our lives. I hope that my husband and I can give that same gift to our kids.
So, as a follow-up to yesterday's hand-holding post and the lovely comments left for me, reassuring me that people married for a long time still love to hold hands, here's my favorite story about my mom and dad.
In 2000, my dad was going to Ukraine for a mission trip. He was heading over with a bunch of other pastors and leaders from his church conference. Unfortunately, because of the way that the trip was organized, Dad had no choice but to leave on Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary. This was a big deal, as my parents have ALWAYS had a special time, just the two of them, on their anniversary. My dad flying thousands of miles away on their anniversary was not part of that tradition. We ended up at the airport many hours before Dad was to leave on his flight. This was in the days pre-9/11, so we all trekked to the gate together, and stood around talking in a large circle. Mom and I were on one side of the circle, Dad was talking to some pastor friends on the other side. All of a sudden, Dad stopped talking, walked around the circle to Mom, took her hand, and they walked off together down the terminal. I remember standing there and watching them walk off, holding hands. Eventually they stopped and stood and hugged. Just enjoying being together.
I don't think Mom and Dad know that I even remember that happening, or that, 7 years later, the memory still brings tears to my eyes. Their love for each other has been an incredible, incredible blessing to me.