My mom and dad have been married for over 40 years, and at the top of September they will celebrate another happy anniversary. People ask them what the secret is. They will tell you that they are best friends.
They met when they were thirteen years old in Milwaukee, WI, but they were never romantically involved until they were in their early twenties. My dad says that my mom used to constantly call him and complain about her boyfriends. He says that he used to tell my mom how full of crap she was. I laugh. My mom says that my dad was so handsome that the girls used to check him out in class by using their compacts as rearview mirrors. My dad never believes this tale.
Their story is a great one.
My mom suffered a heartbreaking split with her long-time boyfriend and felt like she needed to get away from her scene. She took her dad up on the suggestion of going to Israel for six months. Homesickness set in, however, and she returned after two months. When she got back, she made her routine call to my dad – her best friend. My dad was recently engaged. He wanted to meet for coffee, share the news and catch up. According to my mom, my grandma had a fit, as engaged men don’t go to coffee with their “girlfriends.” Despite her mom’s admonishments, they met up anyway.
Well, perhaps my grandma was onto something. Reconnecting in that diner, my mom and dad quickly realized they were in love. My dad broke off his engagement. Six weeks later, he and my mom were engaged. Before they walked down the isle, their friends took bets the marriage would only last a few short weeks. Apparently my parents should have taken that wager.
Occasionally, they tell each other how full of crap the other is. But they really do love and respect each other. It’s amazing to see two best friends continue to be in love. It really is something special. Sure, I put them on a pedestal, what kid does not do that with their parents? But I really believe it is warranted.
Some people believe love has to start with a bang. Some believe that it starts with friendship. Some people believe that there is a soulmate out there for each of us. And some people don’t believe in love at all.
I was raised by two incredible human beings who taught me what love truly is, what it really means, how very special it is, and how sometimes, it finds us when we least expect it.