Saturday, August 04, 2012

51 years, with and without

Today is Aug. 4, 2012, which would have been my parent's 51st wedding anniversary. My dad has been dead for a little over 10 years now and so even though my parents did not get 51 years together, today is still a marked day, not to celebrate and remember 51 wedded years together, but to celebrate and remember the years they did have together. This past decade since my dad's death, there's been much change in our family. Specifically, in my life, I graduated from grad school, got married, began my professional career, and birthed two children. Not a day goes by that I don't mourn the loss of my dad not being a part of those huge life-changing milestones of my life. (and also the normal everyday things). And yet, while my dad is physically gone, the effect of the man he was, the father he was, the husband he was, the runner he was, the provider he was, the health scientist he was, the son he was, the brother he was, the friend he was, the grandpa he was, the sinner he was, the forgiven man he was, the dying man he was, etc. lives on. How wonderful it would be to be able to see my dad today. To talk to him and give him a hug and go for a run with him and watch him play with my babies. This past week, being Coast Guard week in our beach town, I can see my dad taking part in this week and really enjoying this week... racing in the Coast Guard 10K, walking down to see the ships coming into the harbor and watching the parade. I can imagine him knowing my children and enjoying them and building relationship with them, as well as my husband who he never met. And how much I have changed this past decade. So to have the chance for my dad and I to have had a different relationship this past decade. I still ache because these things can't happen. And I ache for my mom because this anniversary (as I'm sure all anniversaries post-loss) must contain such sweet memories but also sadness for all the years without.

Today marks my parents 51st wedding anniversary. And yet, they could not be married for 51 years. Even so, today I remember and honor the years of marriage they did have. 10 years after my dad's death, I am still blessed my parent's marriage - in my heart, in my memories, and within my own marriage. My parents were never loud or showy about their love for each other. But I remember a quiet, steady, faithful love between them, that brought me much security. I remember the familiar and comforting routine of their lives together. And while my dad is now gone, that remembrance and that sense of their marriage still affects me today. Especially now that I am married and oh how humbly we view things differently when we're on the other side of marriage and also of having children...
Thank you Mom and Dad for your marriage. Today is a special day indeed, and I celebrate that day 51 years ago, when my parents said I do, til death do us part.

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