My parents showed us, their lucky children, how to do the damn thing. They loved, honored, respected each other on a consistent basis without any fissures that we could spot. (I’m sure they argued and disagreed etc. but we never saw it.)
They also made it clear that their love and their relationship came first. It was truly “solid” like Ashford and Simpson talked about. We couldn’t pit one of them against the other. Don’t even try. We did though; I did, only to get snatched back to reality with, “Go ask your mother” or “Well, what did your father say?” Huh? I’m asking you for a reason. But no, it didn’t work that way.
I’ve joked on several occasions that if we Elams were all in a boat that started taking in water and my parents had to choose between us and them, that ocean or river would be full of little Elam children, hopefully in life jackets, because they’d choose each other. And you know, that was fine. I think that is the way it should be. Well that sounds kind of drastic I know but my point is – their relationship was the priority and I’m not mad at that. It felt unbreakable and that we could count on the rock steadiness of it.
Because of them and the way they loved, I know what a good relationship between a man and a woman should look like. I didn’t always follow the model they provided (but that’s another story for another day) but it ain’t too late, right?
Happy 67th Anniversary, Harry and Barbara. May you Rest in Love.