A man in his late 20’s meets a young woman who just turned 20. they sang together in their church’s young peoples choir. The man was considered a black sheep by many. He liked to have fun, play pool, and spin records on weekends in pubs. An unexpected pregnancy resulted in the couple getting married. The decision to get married took time and contemplation by them but the man wanted a family and to do what was honorable.
The couple were my parents. Through highs and lows in their marriage including a brief separation early in their marriage, they persevered. Upon my father’s death they were married for 31 years. Both my parents are now deceased. Last week was their 50th wedding anniversary. I have no doubt if they were both living that they would have still been married.
My parents weren’t publicly affectionate but they showed loved by caring for each other. Sharing time together and a lot of laughter. Our home was always filled with the smell of good food, laughter, and music.
I was raised understanding that it was never right for a man to hit a woman. My dad said these words to me when puberty occurred. My mom was in one ear talking about the birds and the bees; and my dad was in the other ear explaining what it meant to respect the one you loved. He also demonstrated this by example. My parents argued sometimes but I never saw them ever be violent towards each other.
I am always saddened and angered to hear about women and men being abused by a partner. No matter that demographic of the relationship it is never right to hit or hurt another person unjustifiably. Justifiable violence should only occur in self-defense and even then there is a limit of what should or needs to be done…dependent on the situation.
One of my saddest and fondest memories of my parent’s union is the day my dad died. My mother went to his hospital bedside to say good-bye. She chose to go alone to have final time with my dad’s still warm body. When she returned she sweetly said, “I kissed him”. She continued to explain, “At first I was hesitant to kiss him. But then I thought he never hurt me in life so he wouldn’t hurt me in death.” The words my mother spoke were the simple summation of good love.
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