Today my parents, Bruce and Sedonia, celebrate 33 years of marriage. Their marriage began at the Houston Plaza Club where my mom, a beautiful and radiant woman (still true today) was working as the club receptionist. My dad, a then stockbroker, would spend his lunch break at the club playing backgammon and doing deals. My mom was drawn to my dad’s quiet nature. There is something about a quiet man that makes a woman think. I imagine that my mom, the opposite of quiet, spent afternoons wondering what the handsome and young Bruce thought of her.
The story goes that one day, after flirting back and forth, my mother got tired of wondering and asked my father (with quite a bit of moxie), “When are you going to ask me out?” Thankfully, Bruce thought well of Sedonia and he asked her to accompany him to a Rockets game for their first date. They went to Chilis for dinner (I guess this used to be a hip first date spot) and then to the Rockets game. My parents both claim that they knew that night. My father called his mom to let her know, “I’ve found her, I’m in love.” Just three months later my dad asked my mom to marry him at Brennars Steak House and she said yes.
My parents love started fast and hasn’t really slowed down. They are still clearly in love: they hold hands often, go for walks, camp out on the couch during football season, dance in our living room and share secret jokes that none of us get. When I consider getting married it’s hard to imagine having the kind of love my parents have held onto over the years, especially because I knew what it took to earn that love.
My parents fairy tale is so not one dimensional. Their love came with five daughters (none who can claim to be an “easy” child), busy schedules, extended family quarrels, financial stress and illnesses. However, in the face of each of these they have chosen to seek out the love they have for one another and to stay together. I assume that at times they didn’t want to stay together but they always let the deeper desire, the more true desire, to be with one another come through and that’s amazing. I’m not saying that all marriages should chose this, to say that would assume all people have the same level of love as my parents and I’m not sure many do. However, after watching them for 33 years I know know the kind of love that is bigger than circumstance exists; which is a fairy-tale better than Walt Disney himself could have scripted. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!