Two days ago marked a milestone for my family (it is every year). May seventeenth was the sixty-second wedding anniversary of my beloved parents. Having met after WWII, they subsequently became betrothed and married in 1947. It seems such a long time ago. It predates the Korean 'conflict', the Vietnam War, the first Iraq War among others scattered throughout the second half of the last century. (The last century, wow!)
How the culture has changed. Big band swing music was still in vogue and the early years of rock and roll had not yet happened. Frank Sinatra was still struggling to make a name for himself and the rat pack had not yet formed. Saddle-shoes and bobbi-sox(?) had not littered high school gymnasiums for sheltered dances. The idyllic 50's were still years away.
My parents went through turbulent times as our country and the rest of the world grew into a new age. It was an age of promise and risk. Promise from what lay ahead in a new world free from Nazi-ism and Fascism and the climate of global war to the risk of a new atomic age, an age that no one could truly comprehend.
What lay ahead for them was the joining of two large families (as they each came from families of ten or so) and the birth of my four siblings and myself. It was a struggle in the early years but what pulled them through was a belief in themselves and a love between them with an unshakable faith in God. They have instilled in their five children an underlying respect for others and values that transcend trendiness. Their example gave us a strong work ethic and a love for each other. It has been years since my parents have passed away but each May seventeenth I think back to them and a time that was simpler (at least on the surface). The altar of the church was filled with red carnations as May is the month of our Holy Mother and it was celebrated differently in that era.
For the next forty-five years, Beloved Father always gave Sainted Mother red carnations when he sent her flowers. No matter what their failings, they loved each other through thick and thin.
It is with these lessons I devote my life to My Beloved as we grow old together. (As long as she'll have me.)