Thursday, February 28, 2008

Long And Lasting Love

Love is in the air in the Hula family. My middle brother is getting married in a couple of weeks. This is the second marriage for him and his fiancĂ©, so they don’t want a big wedding. It will be simple but special, kind of like Mama and Daddy’s wedding 45 years ago. A month from now my parents will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. They don’t have any big plans for marking the occasion, but perhaps we can fix that. It’s certainly worth celebrating.

As I was digging around in old photos this past week, I found this one. I love this picture.

It captures their relationship, then and now, perfectly. For as long as they’ve been together, Daddy has been laughing and teasing Mama, and Mama has been rolling her eyes at him. Sometimes the roll is accompanied by an elbow to the ribs or a light smack on his arm. She probably rolls her eyes at him more than Teen Angel rolls hers at me, and that’s saying a lot. They are quite the pair, kind of opposite, but quite alike.

They’ve weathered a lot over the years and have really been perfect partners for each other. As a kid growing up, I thought everyone came from the same Beaver Clever kind of family I did. Mama didn’t wear dresses and pumps around the house, but she stayed at home with us kids, shuttled us to school functions, clapped at our musicals and held an office in the PTO. Daddy was the breadwinner, working swing shift but squeezing in time for each of us in between fixing our cars and mowing the yard. We ate dinner together and took summer vacations. I saw my parents bicker but never saw them argue. They never made financial decisions without discussing them. They showed each other affection and always treated each other with respect. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized how rare and special that was.

In their silver years, they still treat each other with respect, still laugh at their mistakes and still take vacations together. They have very part time jobs to give themselves a few hours away from each other during the week but enjoy each other’s company the rest of the time. He makes her laugh, and she loves to laugh. Daddy is still teasing Mama, and there are days when she wants to throttle him, but she usually just rolls her eyes, makes some kind of half-hearted attempt at trying to keep him in line and moves on. As I watch their marriage and mine mature, I am struck by how much marriage is really about taking care of each other. I was backing out of the driveway the other morning when Hubby flagged me down to bring me my gloves. Earlier I had scratched his back. Taking care of each other. That’s what it’s all about. The romance is still there, but it flickers and smolders more than it flames. That’s okay. It’s really just a part of the whole equation. Super Cop is still in that white hot flaming part of his relationship. I wish him a world of happiness with this marriage, but most of all, I’m glad he has someone to take care of…and someone to take care of him. We all need that, especially in our Harvest Moon years.

1 comment:

Jason said...

That is so sweet. You are lucky to have parents like yours! I hope I'm like that when I'm old.