I got onto Matt for not knowing it was his parents 50th Anniversary this year. Then a few days later to find out I missed my parents 25th anniversary and didn’t even know it. I talked to mom and said “don’t you have an anniversary coming up on the 20th”? Only to learn it was the 2nd of September and it was their 25th.
Guilty as charged.
So I decided in honor of my parents 25th anniversary, I would write 25 lessons I have learned from my parents and their marriage.
Happy Anniversary Kids! Here is to 25 more!!!
1. Commit to your spouse. 25 years is a long time. My parents haven’t always gotten along 100% but through it all they are still together and making their relationship work. I know it has been hard at times but they have managed to make it this far.
2. Be content. Being content always came easy for them.
3. No news can be good news. This is something my mom says often. When I don’t call her when I return home from being away for awhile, this is what she reminds me. The theory is that if there is bad news, she will hear about it. So she knows I am safe even if she hears nothing from me.
4. It is ok to eat cereal for dinner. Pancakes, biscuits and gravy, etc… are also acceptable. I always love breakfast for dinner. Something about cereal though. Cereal is one of the easiest meals to make and sometimes that is all one needs.
5. Live within your means. My parents don’t spend outside of what they make. They have lived their life with very little debt. In fact the only debt I ever knew them to have was a house mortgage. They taught me frugality and how to be thrifty.
6. Small things count, even to children. Something as simple as corn nuts, pop, and a catchy radio commercials not only make a child happy but looking back as an adult it is some of the best memories I have and bring can bring a smile to my face anytime I think about it.
7. Volunteer your time. What you give to others mean the world to them. From the time I was little I was encouraged to go to my elderly neighbors and spend time with them. It made them feel important and I learned about a sense of community.
8. Be sacrificial. I saw both of them give up things for each other often.
9. Have hobbies. Both of them did things that were important to them. Even if it was separate they support each other in their differences.
10. Don’t expect the other person to make you happy. From their relationship I have learned that you are responsible for your own happiness. You can either be happy or not. That is a choice you make and no one else.
11. Ice cream is a bandaid. In our family we all share a love for sweets. Especially ice cream. It is funny looking back when I was a child, that if I disagreed with my parents and didn’t like them, the minute we went to DQ they were suddenly my best friends.
12. Don’t steal. When I was a young kid I took pens and throat drops from the store. My brother told on me. I had to earn the money from household chores to pay for the items. Then they made me go back to the store, tell them what I had done and come clean. BY MYSELF. To this day I remember after that I took 6ft of bubblegum package from another store, never got caught and it still haunts me.
13. To respect living things. My dad has a dairy farm and I always had pets growing up. I would always bring home strayed pets and my parents always supported my desire to help lil creatures. I got the love for living things from them.
14. Play outside. We had time limits on the amount of TV we could watch so we spent much of our time outdoors playing.
15. Sometimes you have to do the hard thing. This is something I learned over and over from them and even today I am still learning that lesson in my adult life.
16. Faith. I am not religious but from their religion, they taught me to believe and have faith.
17. Choose your battles. This is something they preach and something I still work on.
18. The roles in relationships WILL change. I have seen my parents switch roles many times in many different situations and aspects of their relationship. Yet they always go with it and make it work.
19. Love isn’t about the wedding day, it is about a commitment. I have seen them go through a lot together and no matter what, they are still together. That takes commitment and tons of it.
20. There will be health and there will be sickness. My dad has parkinsons and this has changed so much for their lives but through it, they go on.
21. Kiss every day. I didn’t remember a day that my dad didn’t walk into the house and kiss my mom.
22. Things aren’t always fair in life. This is something my parents told me over and over.
23. Sometimes you have to do what you are told without knowing why, “because I said so”.
24. You can still be loved, even if you forget an important date. I got onto Matt for not knowing it was an important date for his parents when an important date for my parents had already passed. In fact, my mom didn’t even tell me they celebrated an anniversary. Now I feel like a horrible daughter. I know I am forgiven and still loved.
25. When people matter, let them know. I don’t think there is a week that goes by that if I don’t call my mom, she isn’t trying to contact me somehow. I know that my parents think about me often and that is why I wanted to write this to somehow try to “make it up” to them.
I want you (my parents) to know these life’s lessons are alive within my soul, everyday of my life. I LOVE YOU!