Sunday, December 4, 2011

A marriage that began today in 1948 / An extended meditation on our parents and their long marriage

Our parents married on December 4, 1948. Our father was 34 years old. Our mother was 32 years old. Both had been married before and had to get special permission from a bishop to marry again in the Episcopal Church. When I was 17 years old, my mother told me that she had been married before. What a shock that was. We didn't know that our father had been married before until after our mother died. I don't know when or where this photograph was taken, but my guess is that it is in 1948, when they were engaged. This photograph was among a carousel of slides that my father showed me a few years after my mother died suddenly in December of 1994, the day before their 46th wedding anniversary. My father died on St. Patrick's Day in 2003.

I can almost remember them being this young. I hadn't looked at these photos since the year our father died. Our parents are just getting to know each other. They are hopeful.

Here are our parents in the 1960s, at age 50 and 52, in a somewhat solemn photo and a laughing photo taken in a photography studio:

and when they were in their 70s in the late 1980s in a photo taken by me:

Today I am feeling grateful for our parents-- our father with his gardens and his games of Solitaire and his world travels in retirement, our mother with her art work and her books and her cooking, our parents playing Scrabble, our parents enjoying life together for 20 years after we grew up--our mysterious and eccentric parents that I am only beginning to know now, in the years since they died.


Taradharma said...

a lovely photograph of two very dapper people -- stylish! I love your mother's pin.

good for them for having all those years together -- maybe it helped that they had both been married before, and therefore knew a bit more about what they were getting in to.

I love the appreciation of parents that come to us in our later years. In my case, it only increases the love and gratitude for their raising of my sisters and me.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, let's remember with gratitude our parents, and all their eccentricities and mysterious ways!

Anonymous said...

tardharma and tsw say it well. yes. kjm

Anonymous said...

A beautiful meditation, am. I love seeing them age together, growing old and staying in love.

bev said...

It's so nice to have such photos of your parents, and that they had such a long history together. It's interesting how our relationship with our parents changes over time. I'm so sorry that my dad died at what was a comparatively young age as I had sort of been looking forward to seeing where he would go with his age - no doubt somewhere surprising!

am said...

Thank you everyone for your comments on this post!