Today is my mom and dad’s (who we all call pops) anniversary. I am 43 years old so I think today is their 45th. I should know these things I know but I don’t. The bottom line is that my mom and dad have been married for a long time.
From their marriage I have learned a lot that has helped me in life in general but in my marriage as well.
I have learned that marriage is a partnership that is better when both partners work together. For most of my life pops owned his own business. He is a mechanic and owned service stations. He took care of the management of the business but without he and mom working together the business would not have been successful as it was. I remember riding in the back seat of the car and them discussing the decisions that needed to be made. Decisions for the business, for the family, and for life in general. Mom and pops made their marriage work better because they were both active in it.
I learned what it means to work. My work ethic comes from both of my parents. Pops worked hard to both manage a business and work on cars. He loved it I know but I remember him saying that he would feel like he was retired when he only had to work a 40 hour week. I am grateful that I got to watch it up close and work with him. Mom was involved in the work side of the business as well – running around getting parts for broken cars from parts houses. Mom worked hard at home too. When a hurricane blew down the cedar fence in the back yard she rebuilt it. Mom had various side jobs too. She drove a school bus among other things. My parents did the hard work to make our home what a home should be. Both in providing for us and keeping everything organized.
I learned that marriage is hard. Mom and dad didn’t hide from my brother Toby and me when they were not getting along. Sometimes we couldn’t miss it. But I was under no misconception that marriage was an easy thing. And I am grateful that mom and dad were real about their struggles and didn’t hide their arguments behind bedroom doors where their kids couldn’t see them. They always figured out how to work through their issues.
I’ve learned that marriage is better when God is involved. I listened to them pray at night. I sat in the living room floor with them as they prayed for another family. Decisions were made in prayer. My parents allowed me to own my own faith and ask questions and go my own way. But the beginning of my faith was found in my home as a child based on the life my parents lived in front of me.
I learned that a couple could have fun together (and involve their kids). Mom and pops laughed together. They would drive around and look at new houses on a Sunday afternoon and dream. We ate freshly popped (from kernels) popcorn together in the living room. We played in the snow (the couple of times it snowed in south Texas). We had fun with their parents. We shot fireworks together. We would come home after church on a fall day and make nachos in the oven and eat them on the living room floor while we watched the Dallas Cowboys (mom too). We fished together (all of us) at the lake my grandpa was caretaker of. We swam together – at the reservoir and at Landa Park. And there is so much more…
Mom and pops have taught me how to be good grandparents. They love our kids without condition and spoil them without remorse.
Mom and pops have taught me about commitment. It wasn’t that they never offended each other. It wasn’t that the world was always perfect. But they have made it where they are today because they committed to stick this thing out 45 years ago (or so) – and they have.
I love you ma and pops! Happy Anniversary.