By most standards, the beginning of my parents’ marriage did not bode well for its longevity. After meeting at a dance and dating for all of three months, they hopped on a bus to Las Vegas and got married. Because my father was in the army, they lived apart at first, only getting together for the short periods of time his leaves allowed. Then he shipped off to Europe with his outfit and was away for over a year.
Although they are both gone now, Valentine’s Day still means more to me than a Hallmark holiday; it is an annual reminder of the strength of their union, brought together in a time of war and fortified over the years as a relationship built on love, commitment, and shared values.
My brothers and I were lucky to be able to celebrate our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with them. My mother passed away in 2000, a few years shy of their 60th. Tomorrow, on their Valentine’s Day anniversary, I will say a heartfelt “thank you.” Thank you for giving us a happy, secure childhood. Thank you for emphasizing the importance of an education and continued learning. Thank you for instilling in us a passion for travel. Thank you for showing us what love looks like.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for taking a chance and hopping on that bus. We are grateful.
73 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: Mom and Dad”
Thanks for sharing this story. A reminder that sometimes things turn out better than we anticipate.
I’m sure they would have wanted to lock me in my room if I had announced that I was going to marry a boy I had known for only a few months :). I wish that I had asked them what their parents thought at the time.
interesting question. From what I understand about those times, what your folks did was not at all uncommon. Meet, fall in love, get married, go to war. Sometimes it worked out well, sometimes not.
I am deeply touched by your message of gratitude to your parents. Although they are no longer with you, your post speaks of the love and sense of family that your parents were able to provide in a time that was not always easy for them. A heart-warming post so fitting for Valentine’s Day!
Thank you! I miss them but I am lucky to have such sweet memories.
I love writing about my parents and loved your piece. Coincidentally, I blogged about mine and Valentines Day this past weekend. I’m always so impressed with the stories of their generation.
Hi Tracey. I’d love to read your post, but for some reason, I didn’t receive an email notification. I guess I’ll try to re-follow you and see if that works.
That was a lovely tribute, Janis, that makes me miss my own parents! Thanks! ~ Lynn
Even after all this time, I miss my parents a lot. Even though we had good communication, there was so much left unsaid (I thought I had all the time in the world).
Lovely piece and you are very fortunate! No such lovely stories from my parents. I am, however, making my own.
Good for you for making your own stories and not letting your past be your future.
Such a lovely tribute to your parents, Janis. My parents also have a beautiful love story. Now, watching my father care for my mother, who has dementia, has been one of the most loving expressions of love that I’ve ever witnessed.
Dementia is such a terrible disease (my father had it too) and, unfortunately, there appears to be no hope for a cure at this point. Your mother is fortunate to have such a loving husband (and, I suspect your father feels fortunate to be able to take care of her).
You’re right all around, Janis. And I’m fortunate to have him as my father…he truly is an amazing man. I’m sorry to hear you and your family were touched by the disease, as well.
“they” just don’t make ’em like that anymore…
Thank you, Laura. They were truly part of the Greatest Generation.
Sometimes you just “know” and they obviously did!
On the other hand, my husband and I waited 13 years before we tied the knot… just to be sure 🙂
Haha talk about the extreme opposite of your parents 🤣 Both ways have worked out well!! Different courses for different horses!
Can’t be too careful 😉
What a lovely tribute to your parents. It’s funny how people rushed to get married before going off to war. My parents married shortly after the war ended and they were very happy for over 30 years before my father died, way too young, at age 64 (the age I am now). I met the “one” after a failed first marriage, and I treasure every day with him. Happy Valentine’s Day!
It must have been a scary time and having someone waiting for you at home provided comfort. Also, waiting for “just the right time” probably didn’t feel like a good option. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your special “one.”
Their story is very similar to my parents with a marriage followed by my father quickly being shipped off by the military. But the love endured all of that. A really nice Valentine’s Day reminder, Janis. Thanks for sharing. – Marty
Times were different and splitting up was less of an option. People stayed together and worked things out. When there is a good foundation to a marriage, I think love can endure most bumps in the road. Nice to know that your parents had a similar story.
Hi Janis…..I’m a new follower of your blog, and I couldn’t have come in to a nicer blog! Your parents sound like such a happy, loving couple, and what a romantic way to start their life together. Not sure how much ‘romance’ they encountered during that first year, but clearly they were committed to each other for the duration . They were definitely products of the Greatest Generation!!
Wonderful tribute to your parents. Wonderful memories and life lessons from your parents. Happy Valentines Day!
Hi Ginger… welcome to my blog and thank you for commenting! It amazes me to think how easily they could have passed in the night and never met. But, luckily for my brothers and me they did and then took a big chance and got married after just a few months. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day too!
Some fairytales do last! What a beautiful tribute to your parents. Almost 60 years of marriage is quite the feat. And, so “funny” they were married on Valentine’s Day. Was this a thing back in the forties? My parents have been married for about 40 years, but we did celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my in-laws over ten years ago (in 2007), which indirectly led to Mark and I getting married a month later. 🙂 Their 60th anniversary was just a small family gathering.
I am grateful that we were able to have a lovely celebration of my parents’ 50th with many of their life-long friends in attendance. I have friends who were married on Valentine’s Day too… it’s probably helpful for remembering anniversaries, but I wouldn’t want to compete for restaurant reservations 🙂 I noticed that there were a number of greeting cards with a “Happy Valentine’s Day/Anniversary” message, so I guess it’s still a “thing.”
What a beautiful post. You were a very lucky child to have those parents, and I’m sure they felt the same way about you. Not everyone can write a sincere post like this, so enjoy your good memories tomorrow. 🙂
I – and I’m sure my brothers do also – feel extremely lucky to have had such wonderful parents. Happy Valentine’s Day, Judy!
Amazing post! You’ve inspired me!
Thank you! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Studly.
What a lovely Valentine story!
Wonderful post. With all the craziness in the USA these days, it is nice to read so,etching positive.
Unfortunately, crazy gets the headlines. Happy Valentine’s Day, Shelley.
Lasting love beats the odds. Thank you for sharing your parents’ love story. I feel all warm and squishy inside on this Valentine’s Day morning. ❤️
I hope you and your husband are enjoying a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
Beautifully written. It’s a reminder to me to honor my parents as well and forgive some of their mistakes.
Thank you! God knows they forgave a ton of my mistakes 🙂
So beautiful. My mother lost my Dad when they were fairly young and she never recovered. We all missed him but they had a special love.
We were lucky to have both of our parents for as long as we did. I’m sorry that you lost your dad so early… I can’t imagine how sad that would be.
Thanks, Janis, for sharing your parents’ beautiful love story. Happy Valentine’s day!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you also!
Love their photos, Janis! Amazing to read they were married so long in spite of the obstacles of time and distance. Must have been true love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
I think it was true love… and determination. I hope you and Hans are having a lovely Valentine’s Day too!
What a wonderful story! I absolutely love the photo of your mother on her wedding day. She just looks so young, eager and poised! My parents married young and had 65 years before my dad passed away. He wasn’t quite old enough for WWII so they were never separated after marrying in 1951. I have had many friends tell the story of their parents, newly married, and then separated by time served overseas! I think those couples, including your parents, are to be truly admired. I’m glad you shared about your mom and dad. A truly lovely story!
I love that picture too! It must have been hard to be separated right after getting married (and in my parents’ case, while just getting to know each other) and to have to rely on a very iffy postal system to stay in touch. Fortunately, they kept it together and then created a wonderful life for themselves… and then for us kids too. Happy Valentine’s Day!
What a touching tribute to your parents! They may have had an unusual beginning (although in those days, it was more common than now), but clearly they were meant for each other and provided you and your siblings with a loving family and home. What more can you ask for? Thanks for this affirming post!
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a marriage with beginnings like that lasting very long. I think commitment meant more back then. They knew that life wasn’t perfect but they vowed to work through the challenges.
A wonderful tribute to parents you loved and valued so much! Your mother wore what many ‘war brides’ wore on their weddings in those days—and they were lovely in suits instead of white dresses!
I love that suit! So much more practical than a white dress that will never be worn again.
I cannot imagine being married close to 60 years. It’s fun to think about it, and certainly your parents proved that it can be done. And done well, at that. What a fun Valentine’s Day memory to share.
They had a great time too. Lots of good friends, lots of adventures, and three kids who loved them dearly.
A perfect topic for a Valentines Day gratitude post, Janis. I love seeing the photos of your parents, imagining how they felt as they started their lives together.
I am so grateful that I have these old pictures of my parents. Growing up, it was hard to imagine they had a life before kids. Now that I’m older (and, unfortunately, they are gone) I wish I had asked more questions about that period of their lives.
Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it… What a heartfelt love story and tribute to your parents and their love.
Thank you, Peta. I am lucky to have had them as parents.
What a beautiful post, Janis! The photos are truly stunning!
I love those photos… especially the one of my mother on her wedding day.
Beautiful tribute to your parents and their commitment to each other, Janis. I am always so impressed with the war time romances and marriages that lasted a lifetime.
Hi Joe. It amazes me that after three months of dating they were willing to take a chance… but I’m glad they did!
You are blessed indeed! I love when you share your parent’s stories on your blog! I too am glad they ‘took a chance’ and ended up giving us you.
I was indeed lucky to have had them as my parents… I hope that I told them enough times (is there ever enough times to tell someone that you love them?).
Wow. What a beautiful couple.
I love the pictures I have of them from when they were young.
What a beautiful remembrance and tribute to love. Your parents were very special people.
Thank you! They were very special and gave us a wonderful childhood.
Your parents sound like wonderful people. My parents also gave us a wonderful childhood. I lost my Dad in 2004, but am fortunate to still have my Mom.
I’m in a situation similar to Dr. Sock’s, which is why I was fortunate to dig up my parent’s old photos while one of them is still with us and has a memory like an elephant (mostly) though mainly re events that happened a long time ago vs. in the prior 5 minutes. We found stuff that Dad had kept that even Mom doesn’t know about, unfortunately.
We lost Dad in 2005, just before he and Mom would have celebrated their 50th anniversary.
Those pictures are so precious! Many of the old family pictures we have are of people who are strangers to me. Fortunately, my mother had a large extended family in St. Louis who can fill in many of the gaps (at least on her side). You are so lucky to still have your mom.
You are fortunate! I thought that I had all the time in the world with my parents… then they were gone.
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