She was 4’11” at one time, but now she has shrunk. The bouquet of 60 yellow roses I sent to commemorate their 60th wedding anniversary dwarfs her.
Sixty years! Wow. It’s a substantial amount of time for anything. And I can’t say the early part was rosy. They would both agree; at the last party on their 55th my father confessed. He thought getting married meant he got someone to cook and clean and sleep with! He never realized he might need to nurture that relationship until he was in it for close to 30 years.
It is impressive, especially this day and age, when not much lasts. Marriages are as tenuous and unpredictable as the weather, New England weather, where the saying is, “If you don’t like it, wait 10 minutes and it will change.”
Change is the only constant, especially in the time of Covid.
As I have mentioned, she is becoming more forgetful. And my father has become the care-giver. After 30 years of marriage, he started washing dishes. Lately, he has run the vacuum and started cooking. Amazing! But true.
Some men might just back out. Some men do. A few men embrace change.
In a 15 minute conversation, she might ask me 3 times what I have done that day. I repeat the answer, knowing it won’t stick, just being grateful for the conversation, the connection. It’s tenuous, not lasting.
I asked about marriage and what their advice was to us younger folk.
My dad had a litany – “I wish I would have spent more time on relationships, less energy on finances and investments. I should have started saving earlier and working less when I was younger.”
My mom sat quietly, smiling.
He went on, “I should have exercised more and eaten better.”
How about you, Mom? I asked.
“Don’t get married until you are 60,” she said decidedly.