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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November 5

For the last number of weeks, I have felt like I don't have the space to let my mind go and just write. Partly because of a brief depression that I mentioned a few posts back, which I think was triggered by something of an intensely personal nature from my past. It seems as though I have developed a form of self-consciousness on this blog. Probably because I no longer feel anonymous; which isn't a bad thing- just an observation.

So, I'll just go ahead and be random.

My parents are celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary on this day. That's nothing to sneeze at. Of course, in their regular understated way, they did mention that they might go to Joey's Only for a fancy celebratory meal. They've always been ridiculously reasonable, which is only one of the things that I so love about them. They don't give one another silly gifts just to mark an occasion, but they certainly do give other types of gifts that are wondrous to behold. My mama is so committed to my dad. She treats him with dignity and respect, without adopting a "doormat" personality- she's not afraid to speak her mind, or to confide in others when she needs support. But she does so while retaining dad's dignity and standing by him through thick and thin, pre- and post-stroke. And my dad has always had a deep sort of wisdom. I often wished he had been more verbal, and directly taught me things as I was growing up, but at least I was able to observe some of his wisdom in his actions. He never made his daughters feel less intelligent than his sons. (although he sure should have taught us more about the farm and vehicles. We did grow up in the 60's and 70's, and the roles were pretty straight-laced). Still, as his girls turned into women, no one was more proud than my dad when his girls graduated from their career path of choice and landed respectable jobs.

In 58 years, dad and mom have learned about all sorts of things. They've watched their children pass through all sorts of wonderful and horrible things. They've sat through eight weddings, one funeral, several hundred Christmas concerts, and numerous graduations. They endured the agony of eight kids learning how to drive, and six of them totalling at least one of dad's cars.

They've shared a life for 58 years. I think that's going to be a rare occurance in my generation.

I'm incredibly fortunate to still have a mom and a dad. Who still live independently, love each other, insist on mowing their own lawn, tilling their own garden, keeping their own house, doing their own shopping, their own laundry, hosting Christmas and Thanksgiving and everything in between. Besides that, mom is continuing to drive them around even after an unfortunate accident last winter that found them hanging upside down in the ditch, dangling from their seatbelts.

They are not wimpy people, my parents. They have donated countless work hours to MCC. I'd like to see the line-up of people who have eaten or slept under blankets thanks to their volunteer hours. They learned and grew through their children's victories and challenges, instead of getting older and quieter and more set in their ways. They've witnessed many cultural shifts and historical shifts in their lifespans of 80+ years.

Many times my manic life busys up all my time with its urgency. Then I am stopped short with the realisation that I still have my parents. And I don't want to take that for granted, or wish that I had made the trip to their city more frequently. I won't make any resolutions, or make myself feel guilty, or tell you something inspired about some pretend effortlessness to our relationships.

But on November the fifth, I'll take some time to pencil a little of who my parents are, just as a small way to celebrate their first 58 years.

Besides, I'm not into fancy seafood restaurants like they are.


Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, Joyce. Those are my parents as well. I am truly greatful! Schwester Mary

Jennie C. said...

Such a nice tribute.

P.S. Your frazzled Barbie picture freaks me out!

Roo said...

58 years!! that is so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

300 cheers or so for Mom and Dad!!!Do you know that tomorrow she is planning on driving to Tante Marie's house to puzzel away the day with some lovely sweet nieces that I'm sure love her too!?I want to live like that.

PS I wonder what you'll write about tomorrow.....hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute...explains why they produced such a wonderful daughter : ) You are blessed dear girl...

svea said...

wow so special what a great example to us married folks. Special poeple indeed.

Anonymous said...

newbie here joyce, i am boler babe's neighbor's mom....thanks for sharing all that you do , your talents of sewing and writing. YOu have real creative bent & I look forward to reading more. I must admit I have been lurking on the bag site & look forward to it each morning. Love the story of you Mom & are lucky and I think so are they. Carol

joyce said...

hi Carol!
you know, I love that quilt square that you sent me. I have it hanging on my wall because I like to look at it. Just today I also saw the dotted swiss and am still dreaming up ideas for it...