I’ve often written about my parents in the pages of this blog. They were each other’s intellectual equals. They were hopelessly in love with each other and knew how to have fun. You can’t have fathers without mothers, and my parents were an extraordinary team. My parents were the perfect parents on the planet for me. I could talk to either of them about anything and often did. I was a surprise and the last of their four children.
Some parents center their lives around their children. My parents didn’t do that. Their unshakable belief in God and their love for each other came first, then their love for their children.
My parents knew and loved my first husband. They were so proud of him and so thankful we found each other. They adored our daughter. We lived in South Carolina, and my parents lived in Ohio. It is cause for thanksgiving that my Dad saw his littlest grandchild five times in what we learned afterward would be the last year of his life.
Neither of my parents met my husband, Ron. My mom’s memory was failing, and although she was alive when I was corresponding, long-distance, with Ron, I would have had to tell her anew a dozen times a day. Instead, I told her younger sister, my dearest aunt. Ron and I traveled to Ohio and were able to spend some time visiting with her. She loved him!
Decades before I met Ron, he went to a Marriage Encounter weekend. I’ve never been to one, so I am just sharing what he told me. As opposed to many who place their children at the center of the family, Ron was really struck by the teaching at Marriage Encounter. They talked about the need to keep the husband & wife as the center of the family and to tether their relationship to faith in God. Ron came to believe in the wisdom that families are stronger when they are anchored on God with the parents at the center of the family, not the children holding that place. My parents seemed to know that intuitively.
Although I met many of my friends’ parents growing up, I still thought that my parents’ faith and love for each other were pretty ordinary. Experiences in college and early adult life disproved that notion resoundingly.
My parents first were faithful disciples of God. If you missed it, you can read about that here: When The River Won’t Flow: Parking Athanasius Police Love Next, after God, they were hopelessly in love with one another and put each other first. Then came their love for my three brothers and me.
Although Ron never met my parents, nor they, him, he was a firm believer in God. After his faith in God – Ronnie loved me. He respected me, he was kind and thoughtful towards me. We had wonderful adventures together, and many dreams of future adventures. A favorite memory which I hold dear is Ronnie starting nearly every morning by going out on our back patio in Arizona and saying, in a lovely Scottish brogue, “Glory be to Jesus, it’s a beautiful day!”
Ron was blessed with two daughters, and I was blessed with one. Both of us were/are so proud of our daughters and their families. My marriage to Ron brought into my life his two loving (and funny!) daughters, their husbands, and extended families. Ron often talked to me about how thankful he was that in marrying me he also gained a loving (and funny!) daughter, her husband, and their family. God is good!
A very true and well written piece.