Every Independence Day, their four adult sons (with families in tow) would descend upon their Texas home. During the days that followed, we’d all enjoy gathering around the pool and patio and dining table for good meals, lots of laughs and a general celebration of the world we shared because a young couple had married back in 1942. These gatherings allowed time for the grandkids to know their grandparents as well as their cousins.
There were times when I know the influx of family was a huge imposition on my in-laws because they made every effort to be the perfect hosts and meals (my mother-in-law’s specialty) were prepared with lots of loving care and creativity.
Since my father-in-law’s passing, the 4th of July torch has been passed to my Beloved and I, mainly because we live nearby the assisted living facility where my mother-in-law currently resides. It has been a privilege to carry that torch because we knew how important the tradition was for my Beloved’s aging mom.
I’ve posted previously on this blog about the sometimes tenuous relationship I’ve had through the years with my MIL. Later this year, she’ll mark her 92nd birthday. She isn’t likely to remember it though. Due in part to her failing memory, the annual gathering hasn’t taken the priority this year that it had in previous years. When her grandchildren or great-grandchildren come for a visit, she is more nervous about the chaos and commotion, and not as eager to entertain little ones.
Before my father-in-law’s death, the couple had achieved sixty-five years (plus) of marriage. Like every other couple, I’m sure they shared good times and bad, but in my view, reaching that 65 year mark was a significant achievement that should be applauded.
While I’m not familiar with the writings of David Meurer, the author of this quote, I do appreciate this sentiment which is attributed to him: “A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”
I think my in-laws learned well how to enjoy their differences, and tomorrow, we will acknowledge the happy circumstances that brought them together … and how that coupling multiplied their offspring into successive generations.