April 18, 2008

Of Love and Anniversaries

Today is my parents' anniversary. They married in 1964, when my mother was 33 and my father was 51. It was the first marriage for my mom, third for my dad. I was born when my mom was 36, which was a little risky and outrageous 41 years ago. Today, it's not at all uncommon to see women waiting until they're older to have children.

My parents were good, salt-of-the-earth people. They were genuine, honest and respectable. No way would I have recognized that - or even acknowledged it - when I was a child, but becoming an adult does something to your senses and sensibilities.

Although I had a half-brother - 19 years older - from my father's previous marriage, I was basically raised as an only child. Being an only child usually conjures up images of a spoiled brat, and I'll admit sometimes I was! Growing up as the child of an older generation of parents was interesting. There were days I was convinced I was adopted, which is funny because I look so much like both of my parents; times I got my feelings bruised by mean kids who called my parents my grandparents; and times I really thought my parents' rules and restrictions were unfair and antiquated compared to those of my friends younger parents.

Looking back, I realize how incredibly fortunate I was to be born to and raised by the parents I had. They were older, yes, but wiser. They lived within their means and paid their bills in full each month; my dad grew a garden, my mom cooked meals from scratch; we took family vacations together; we went to church together, and we sat down at the table together for meals. In my teenage years, when I was especially unlovable and alien-like, my parents managed to stay sane and level-headed and we all lived through it!

While I never had everything I wanted or requested, which no child should, I did have everything I needed. I had the love and devotion of two wonderful people who taught me that the best gift you can give someone is the gift of yourself. Now that both of my parents are gone, I value those moments now more than ever.

2 comments:

Cousin Arnetta said...

I've been enjoying your blog, glad that you are doing it. It's a good way to keep cousins and others up on your life.
I was a little unsure of how to comment, so we'll see if I've figured it out :-)

You certainly did have remarkable parents, and I was fortunate to have them as my Uncle, and Aunt.
Their ages at your birth, don't seem so old, looking back, especially since I'm well past their ages now.

Your neighbors sound like wonderful folks to have living next door to you.

Your view from your land is breathtaking ! Congratulation on being property owners.
I suppose you are westerners now, and no longer southerners, ha ha!
I've never been in that part of the country, so maybe in the future I'll have to go that direction.

Lilla said...

Arnetta,
Looks like you figured it out! Thanks for the comments. Glad you are enjoing the blog. I'm having a lot of fun with it.