ABOUT PEOPLES' POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE AND LEARN THE
MAGIC OF NOT GIVING UP EVEN WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH.
A Great Life
For couples out there, please read this.
I've heard the
saying, "The best gift parents can ever give to their children is to
love each other."
I've had the
pleasure of witnessing the truth of this statement for over 40 years.
From as far back as I can remember my Mom and Dad were a team. A great
partnership. They were more than just a partnership. It was as if they
were one person.
argued, but there was never any doubt in our minds that any
disagreements would be worked through and resolved. Mom and Dad began
their married life poor, but they worked hard and, over the years, built
a very successful business. They each had their strengths and
weaknesses, but the way they worked together, you never saw the
weaknesses, just the strengths.
Dad was the
outgoing, more public person with whom people met and fell in love with
right away. Everyone knew Dad! Then, when they got to meet Mom, they
felt the exact same way about her as well. Mom, although not at all shy,
was more comfortable being the person behind the scenes. More detail
oriented, she ran the books and, according to Dad, was the one who
really made the business work.
lesson about love and marriage that my mom and dad taught us kids was
how to talk "about" your spouse. Have you ever heard husbands and wives,
when speaking to others, make unkind remarks about their spouses? It's
one of those things people just seem to do. Sure, they're "only
kidding," or maybe they are not. But words matter. And words teach,
whether positively or negatively.
You would never
hear such a thing from my mom and dad. Dad always speaks of Mom in the
most complimentary, glowing terms. As does she of him.
This lesson made
such an impression on me. I still remember when I was age 12 and we were
getting carpet installed in our home. The crew boss was one of those
stereotypical beer guzzling, hard-living guys, who would have probably
belonged to Ralph Kramden's Raccoon Lodge from the old Honeymooner's TV
show. For lunch, my folks bought pizza for the crew. Dad went to talk
with the boss about the job. I was around the corner listening. The boss
said, "This is an expensive job. Women will really spend your money,
won't they?" Dad responded, "Well, I'll tell you, when they were right
there with you before you had any money, it's a pleasure to do anything
for them you possibly can."
This wasn't the
answer the carpet installer expected to hear. He was looking for
negative banter about wives which, to him, was natural. He tried again:
"But, gee, they'll really play off that and spend all they can, won't
they?" Dad replied, as I knew he would, "Hey, when they're the reason
you're successful, you want them to do the things they enjoy. There's no
greater pleasure." Strike two.
The crew boss
tried one more time, "And they'll take that as far as they can, huh?"
Dad responded, "She's the best thing that ever happened to me. I'd do
anything to make her happy." I was trying not to laugh. I knew he wanted
Dad to give in just a little bit and say, "Yeah, I guess that's true."
But it wouldn't happen... not in a million years!
installer gave up and went back to work, probably shaking his head in
bewilderment. Witnessing my dad in that moment taught me more about
loving and respecting your wife than anything he could ever have told me
about the subject.
Mom and Dad are
now retired and enjoying their life together, just hanging out, reading,
and visiting their children and grandchildren. They recently celebrated
their 43rd wedding anniversary.
They still hold
hands, and they are more in love than ever. Throughout the years,
whenever Mom would remind me that I should be looking to get married,
I'd say, "Ma, I have plenty of time." She'd jokingly reply that I don't
have "that" much time. My Dad would then look at me in that
wisdom-filled, city streets bred way of his and say, "Hey, you take all
the time you need. If you marry someone just half the woman your mother
is, you'll have a great life."