Today would have been my parent’s 67th anniversary. 67 years. That is probably a record in today’s world of quick marriages and instant divorces. They met on a blind date with her cousin, Estelle and her boyfriend. My mother was spending the weekend with Estelle, whose mother told her she could not go out with her boyfriend unless she found a date for my mom. Estelle’s boyfriend asked my dad to go and he flatly refused. “I don’t believe in blind dates,” he said. But the boyfriend persisted and Daddy finally gave in. Daddy says by the second date, he knew she was the one he would spend the rest of his life with and three months after they met, on August 24, 1946, they were married.
Their marriage was not perfect and they would be the first to tell you that. They had the usual “disagreements” like most couples do. But in 66 years, 11 months and 20 days, the word “divorce” was never mentioned, not to my knowledge. They walked with each other through thick and thin, good times and bad, lean times and prosperous ones. Their love never faltered, but only grew stronger.
On Tuesday, August 20 at approximately 5:30 in the afternoon, my mother took her last walk as she left her earthly home to enter into the presence of our Lord and Savior. As always, Daddy was right by her side.
At some point during this week of long days and even longer nights, my future son-in-law sent me a text message that simply said: “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (II Cor. 5:8) How comforting! How true. We know where Mom is and we will see her again one day.
There is a song by Mark Schultz that reminds me of my parents and their marriage. Some parts of the song don’t fit their actual story, of course, but the overall premise, “He Was Walking Her Home” fits their love story of 66 years, 11 months and 20 days. I encourage you to listen to this song and the words. And I ask that you pray for my dad, as he finishes his walk without my mom.