On March 26, 1977, my parents were married in Portsmouth, N.H. I don’t really know a lot of the details. I plan to spend today, what would have been their 34th wedding anniversary, with my father gathering his thoughts on love and marriage. Today won’t be that much different from any other time I hang out with him. I am drawn to learning about the art of love and marriage like another might study wild birds. I skulk and observe in wonderment taking details notes then later reviewing them for clues and patterns.
My independent research has yet to become a coherent thesis but I do know character is an important component in a marriage. In the case of my father, he boasts many great qualities but I’d put his top three as follows: He is humble. He is selfless. He is honest.
There are very few pictures of my parents wedding and today is not the day to share those precious snapshots. As someone astutely reminded me the other day, “Some things aren’t meant to be shared.” Once I asked my father why they didn’t take a lot of pictures at their wedding. His response: “We didn’t think of it.” While I wish I had such treasures to thumb through his comment is bizarrely inspired. An album, however beautiful, collects dusts and likely lives a nomadic life hopping from bookshelf to memento box to dusty coffee table. A harmonious love story to admire, on the other hand, is something I had the honor of observing for 20 years.
I wouldn’t claim to know much about the inner workings of my parent’s relationship. I don’t think the children should either. It’s no business of mine. A marriage is sacred and private. What I do remember includes a lot of hand-holding (even in the car!), a lot of smooching (yuck, they are still my parents!), and a lot of laughing. My parents poked fun at each other in the best possible way, with love and sincerity. The most remarkable thing about marriage to me is less about the willingness to make such a commitment in the first place but more about the years spent building a life together. Moreover, it did seem like it involved a lot making out. I try not to think about it.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!