This was going to be a flashy post with tons of pictures. Then my old friend indigestion decided to rear his ugly - make me want to kick his face in - head again so you get this instead. Deal with it. (PS - while I am writing this I am listening to my cat puking in the room next to me that he just moved to after puking on one of my new shirts - pregnancy had definitely made me not sweat the small stuff!) Oh yeah - last day to submit questions for my Q&A post tomorrrow! You know you want to - all the cool kids are doing it.
Being Wednesday that must mean it is once again time for -
Shell over at Things I Can't Say hosts - Pour Your Heart Out. It is a place to just get whatever is weighing on your heart out. Please be kind to all of the posters.
This weekend is pretty special for my family. Sunday marks my mom and dad's 40th wedding anniversary! You read that correctly - I said their 40th! Pretty amazing stuff, huh? These are people who have not had roses strewn over the past forty years either. They were born in post WWII Poland. They weren't born into wealth, married young, had children young, escaped a country undergoing civil unrest with two children and a third on the way. Then they struggled to start over again in a new country - without any money or any knowledge of the language. They toughed it out all those years just to provide for us girls - that has always been their main concern.
Then when they should have finally been getting to slow down and enjoy it all, my dad got sick and our worlds were changed forever. Through all of it - the ups, downs and struggles in between - I kept watching because they were doing something right to be married this long and still be in love with each other. Here's what I've learned watching this couple go from young lovebirds like this -
to slightly older lovebirds celebrating their youngest get married herself. Like this -
Divorce is not an option - My parents did not have a fairytale marriage. They fought. There were times where they didn't like each other very much. There were times where the money was non existent. Things got hard. I learned that in those times you have two options. 1) Dig your heels in. Love each other more and wait for things to get better or 2) See option #1. I'm sure there were times where one or the other parent toyed with the idea of divorce but neither actually considered it as a way out. I always saw them working that much harder to make their marriage successful rather than just saying - it's been nice knowing ya, I'm off to see what else is out there.
It's the little things that count - I still remember to this day my dad randomly bringing home flowers for my mom or how he would always be the one to vacuum so my mom could have a break. My mom would make my dad's favorite meals and didn't complain when he would stay up all night playing Zelda with friends on "the kids" Nintendo. I'm still learning this one but I still see it working for them.
Make time for each other - Although my parents lived for us kids - they also always had their own lives and did things ALONE. They would have friends over and dance the night away. They might go out and grab dinner somewhere. Once us kids were out of the house they would go to Poland and relive those early days. They never forgot that marriage was about the two of them together - kids were just an awesome blessing that came on top of the foundation they had already established.
Don't try to change your spouse - I was guilty of this for awhile. I would forget that I married my husband because of who he was - not who I wanted him to be. Then I watched my parents and realized that my mom was still complaining about the same things I had always heard her complain about regarding my dad and vice versa. After 40 years neither one had changed the other and guess what? They are still together and still in love. My dad will always leave things everywhere and my mom will always clean stuff up immediately so my dad can't find it. So far the world has not fallen apart because of it.
Finally and most importantly - love without limits - I was overwhelmed by the love that I saw my parents had for each other when my dad was in the hospital. My dad was not worried for himself when he was in there - he was worried for my mom and who would take care of her if something happened to him. My mom was falling apart because she couldn't imagine a day with out my dad there by her side. After 40 years their love hasn't faded - it is the thread that holds them together and they don't use it as a bargaining chip. They know that that neither loves more than the other and that they belong together.
I honestly am in awe of the fact that my parents have been married for forty years. Growing up everyone had parents who were divorced. I was an anomaly because my parents were still married - to each other. I didn't realize what a boon this was until I myself got married. My parents are one of the main reasons my marriage to Joey is successful. Anytime I don't know what to do I know that I can turn to my parents for advice and they will have already faced that situation. They don't tell me what I should do though - they just give me the options and let me know how they worked the situation out themselves.
So Happy 40th Anniversary to a couple who deserves many more years of happiness together. I love you both to pieces and am blessed to have such amazing role models in my life. Thank you for everything you do for me and my husband.