As I talk with my mother and father on the telephone, I cannot help but smile at the memories that begin to fill my mind...
I can hear the familiar rumbling of his truck’s diesel engine as it pulls into the driveway -- His footsteps steady and purposeful as he climbs the front steps onto the porch.
The table is set. We sit in front of our plates, food hot and our glasses filled. She lights the two white candles in the center of the table and turns off the kitchen lights -- music playing softly. She puts his plate into the microwave and heats up his meal just a few seconds more -- so that when he sits down it is hot.
He enters the kitchen and grins a huge grin. With smiling, peaceful eyes, he greets us and we get up from the table and wrap our arms around his leg.
He smells of engine oil and diesel fuel. We bury our faces into his leg and breathe it all in – it does not smell like anything other than Dad – and we love him.
He gently stops us and removes his once brown - now blackened - work boots and leaves them at the door. They are familiar and we try to slide our little toes inside them. He laughs and gently scoops us out of them saying that the boots are dirty from a long days work -- he then playfully flips us up into the air and then quickly ushers us back to the dinner table. A whirlwind of love...
He goes in the other room to change out of his uniform and comes back into the kitchen in clean and comfortable clothes.
Now it is her turn.
He wraps her, my Mom, into his arms. She fits perfectly.
He teases her and she nudges him. Then he sings some crazy song, the lyrics echoing in my head as I write this post.. “Your making me dizzy... my head is spinning…” and ends the song as dips her slightly backwards in the middle of the kitchen.
She laughs and wraps her arms around his shoulders and they continue to dance -- in the kitchen—by candlelight—as if no one else is in the room.
My sister and I smile and roll our eyes as we move our peas around on our plates... But honestly, we really don’t mind.
This is how they have always been.
Interrupted by the beeping of the microwave they stop dancing and my dad takes his spot at the head of the table. My mother places his hot meal on the table in front of him (hers most likely cooled by now – but she does not mind) and he sneaks in one more loving gesture or touch before she sits down.
Anyways, this was a very common scene in my home growing up... My parents sharing romantic gestures with each other... often showering each other with public displays of affection in the kitchen. I blame them for the fact that I still believe in destiny, true love and prince charming.
I can honestly say that -- I found my true love, my destiny, my prince charming. I can’t imagine how empty my existence would have been – had I not met him. I suppose my husband and I do similar things in front of the kiddos... like dancing in the kitchen – which is often responded to with moans and groans and giggles from our little creations.
I count my blessings each day for the love I know—the love my children know... like no other.
As I was saying, when I finally hung up the phone the other night after talking to my Mom about a song my father had downloaded for her... My memory flooded with these images of their almost forty year romance.
The title of the song was called, “One Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.
You probably have heard it from the soundtrack of one of the more recent “Twilight” saga films. My dad has never read the books or seen the films. He had heard the song and listened to the lyrics and thought of my mom.
My parent’s relationship has evolved over the years. Fires, death, disease and loss have scared the hell out of them – I am sure. How they stood the test of time is mind boggling... Each of them humbled individually at times…
In the last few years they were just given news that could rock the foundation of any couple. My dad, diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s disease – a humbling and life changing label given to one of the most able men I know.
But, what they know and keep in perspective.. is that they possess a secret weapon – an untouchable magic that protects them from the tribulations the world throws at them so viciously…
They possess humbly loving faith filled hearts.
And I find myself overwhelmed again with gratitude – for the gifts my parents share with me well into my own adulthood. The teachings they continue to provide as living examples – And as I continue to find my own path – in this confusing and difficult world, watching them gives me hope…
I breathe easy knowing that I have the light of their hearts to guide me… Now and for a thousand years from now….
I will protect it with all that I am…. And I shall pass it on.