Wednesday, June 12, 2002

If any of you readers don't believe that romantic love can last, I would like to offer Exhibit A...My Parents, who are an extraordinary example to the contrary.

Today my parents celebrated their 26th Wedding Anniversary, and I have to say that they are, by far, the most romantic couple I know. They went out yesterday night because they wanted to go the the Botanical Gardens, which aren't open today, and planned on having a picnic there. The undying sweetie, my Dad planned for some friends of his to surprise my Mom and asked them to set up a beautiful spread of decadent food and dessert, flowers, and candles, which were waiting for them when they got there. They spent three hours in the gardens, sitting among the flowers and talking. And that is the thing that is amazing to me about my parents...after 26 years, they never run out of things to talk about. My Mom has told me that sometimes they will go to bed, but before they know it, it's like 2:00 in the morning and they're still awake, talking to each other.

As I mentioned, my Mom was out of town last weekend. On the second day she was gone, I noticed a little pad of paper sitting on the kitchen counter that had my Dad's handwriting on it. I started reading down what seemed like a list of the day's events, and I figured out that he was keeping a list of things he wanted to remember to tell my Mom about when she called that night. I teased him about it, and he said it was true...he wanted her to know everything, didn't want to leave anything out. How cute is THAT???!!!!

My parents still hold hands when they walk around the mall or go to outdoor festivals. My Dad still opens car doors for my Mom. They are there in support of each other whenever one of them gets involved in a project or organization that is important to them. They still listen attentively to each other and laugh in all the funny places when one of them is telling a story to a new acquaintance....even though they've each heard each others' stories hundreds of times before. My parents still sneak a card in the suitcase, when one of them is going out of town. My Mom still sports a smile at my Dad's corny jokes (mostly), and my Dad loves nothing more than to watch my Mom when she's laughing so hard she's about to pee. They are each others' best friends, and they call each other four times a day while they're apart.

When I've reached uninspiring places in past relationships, I used to try to tell myself that that was just the normal progression...that love fades and that sooner or later, people get realistic. My parents just keep on shattering this self-lie for me. Don't get me's not like they haven't had challenges in their marriage. The difference is that they saw them as just that...not endings, but new opportunities for their love to grow. They are each others' biggest fans, each others' eternal support and intimate friendship. When they look at each other, there is still a spark in their eyes.

My parents have taught me many, many things over the years. The most important thing they've taught me, however, is about love, because they know how to be in love better than anybody I've ever known, and I thank them for it.

Happy Anniversary, Ma and Pa.

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