Today is their 60th wedding anniversary. He was just over twenty years old; she, almost twenty-two: like all her daughters to come, she married a younger man.
They were gorgeous. He looked a lot like Bill Clinton, only much better looking. He stood very tall, with the straight back of a US Marine. She looked very Irish, with her dark hair and blue eyes; fair skin and trim figure.
On that day, they looked really happy. They look as happy 60 years later. They are best friends, have the admiration and respect of all of their children, grandchildren, the community, and scores of their children’s friends. They receive letters from people whose lives they’ve touched in their subtle, steady, loving way.
They are deeply religious, but not judgmental. They took care of my grandmother into her nineties. They take care of each other. They worry about their kids and grandkids without prying into their lives. They are proud of us for whatever we have accomplished.
They truly gave us roots and wings, as they saying goes. Roots grounded in decent behavior toward others, belief in human rights, and a real work ethic. Wings that allow us to be who we are and to live our lives as individuals, responsible for ourselves and to our communities.
I live in the PNW. I recently started working from home as an ad copywriter and business writer. I was raised Catholic in a big 'ol Irish-German family. The love for beer took. The religion didn't take at all.