My parents are the lights of my life. Their love story is full of faith, romance and God, to such an extent that I have been hard-pressed in comparing my own relationships to theirs. Please keep in mind that since this is, in fact, second hand, some of the little details (like dates or lengths of time) may not be completely accurate.
Both my Mom and Dad grew up in the same area, but never knew each other. For some reason, they never met even once during their many years of growing up. When my mother graduated from an out of state college, she started work as a waitress in a small restaurant. The cook there intrigued her, he was absolutely gorgeous. He was suave and smooth and eventually they married. It wasn’t long afterward that his true colors shown, however, as an alcoholic who couldn’t keep a job, beat his wife on countless occasions, then would leave for months at a time. He left her several times a year during their short marriage, during which I was born, and a sibling shortly after. My mother was pregnant with my other sibling when she look the courage to move back “home”, two babies in tow and one on the way.
A year or two later found my mother on her own, scraping by on welfare but happy. She had her babies, and that was enough for her. She had been going to church regularly, and one Sunday morning she sat in a pew with her children next to her, and heard the most wonderful laugh. Deep, hearty and full of love of life, and she said to herself “How wonderful it would be to wake up to that laugh every morning!” Sure enough, he sat down just behind her, with his small daughter. Over a period of a few weeks, they talked now and then about children and life as single parents, and my mother began babysitting his daughter. She thought long and hard about asking him to dinner, and decided she needed a sign from God before taking the plunge.
My grandmother comes from old-fashioned stock, boys ask girls out, girls do not call boys, the whole bit. My mother knew if my grandmother agreed to her asking this man out, it would definitely be a sign from God. She called my grandmother, who thought it would be a wonderful idea to ask this man home for dinner after church!
That Sunday, my mother walked down the narrow stairway to go get her children from Sunday School, and as she passed my Dad, she muttered quickly under her breath “WouldyouliketocomefordinnernextSunday?” to which my Dad answered in his loving, heartfelt way “Sure!”
During their relationship, it was discovered that while my mother was dealing with her alcoholic, dead-beat husband, my Dad was dealing with his alcoholic, dead-beat wife. Tho whole relationship was obviously a gift from God, and made perfect sense. After all, she had 3 babies who needed a daddy, and he had a baby who needed a mommy, and these two loved each other with a love that runs deeper and more passionate than any I have ever seen in my life.
They were married within a year after meeting, and have been married for over twenty years.