Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” – Alexander Pope
I didn’t want this day to pass without a few words of tribute. I hate to embarrass Mom, but after 50 years with Dad, she should have built up a tolerance for embarrassment. It’s a good time for joking, but I’d like to make a few serious comments about this marriage. Over the years, Mom and Dad have sought love with compromise, exercised commitment with determination, and shown kindness with hospitality.
Dad lived through his parents’ divorce which includes all the grief and loss of a death in the family. And when each of his parents moved on to form new families, he showed a persistence and stamina in loving them both that included driving many miles to be with both families, compromising on holiday celebrations, and nearly splitting himself in half to ensure that Deana and I got the benefit of knowing both sides and sharing that love.
Mom, on the other hand lost one parent at a very young and impressionable age. She had her whole family unit scrambled. It was years before she had a place that felt like a home and perhaps that’s why she is the best person I’ve ever known for quietly doing whatever it takes to make others feel welcome and at home.
These two people united to make a commitment with determination. They were determined to give their children an easier home life than they had. Deana and I had that. We had camping trips complete with bickering, laughing, and singing. We had family vacations that included dogs as family members, deviled ham, Vienna sausages, and Snappy Toms that we actually liked, dinnertimes around a table that saw the best and worst of each one of us, and Sunday mornings where we’d wake up to the smell of pancakes and bacon down in the kitchen and watch football all day, betting on the games. Only in hindsight do we see how hard they worked to make things so easy for us. Their house has always been a true home.
That brings me to my last point. My parents have always shown kindness through hospitality. We’re buying them this one meal, but they’ve been feeding us for years. In fact they’ve been feeding everyone who happens to drop by for years. Their house has always been the place to be. People gather there naturally. It’s not about stuff. I had a friend with a pool table and a swimming pool and I always wanted those things. He, like everyone else, wanted to hang out at our house. I love the house, but it’s not special. It’s the whole feeling you get there that can only be attributed to the couple who chose to make it the comforting place it is. It’s about generosity, friendship, and fellowship.
So. These two have always been my heroes for seeking love with compromise, exercising commitment with determination, and showing kindness through hospitality. I want this day to be wonderful and memorable for them as they have created and contributed to so many happy memories for us. Some might call them “unsung heroes,” but I refuse to leave my heroes unsung. So I have taken “their song” and used a few pieces of their true story to write them a new song to celebrate this occasion. It’s called “I Choose You For Life.”
The song was based on Elvis Presley's ""Can't Help Falling in Love." I think it went well.