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Valentine’s Day, 1944, And 70 Years Later

For seventy years, their love has increased.

Like many young couples of the World War II era, my parents were in love, my dad was in the service, and they both knew he might not return. So on February 14, 1944, Dad proposed and Mom said, “Yes.” Of course they were not my parents then; they were both in college, in love, and facing a serious decision. Should they drop out of school, marry and have a few months on the military base? Or should they postpone the wedding and have a big event when he…. They wouldn’t allow themselves to even think of him not returning, but they just wanted to be married.

The War ended sooner than they had dared to hope, and soon babies were on the way; Mom and Dad were living the American Dream. Love increased as they were busy working and raising a family. Each child brought new dilemmas and new challenges, especially during the turbulent 1960’s. But through it all they faced everything together. For better or for worse, they took their vows seriously. Life is never easy as we all find out. Children disappoint, the lures of the world creep in, and often money is scarce. For richer or for poorer, they increased in love through each phase of their life together.

What a great celebration their children gave them on their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary!

We celebrated fifty years of love as family and friends came from everywhere. Then a grand cruise to the Greek Islands for their 6oth Anniversary; life was still good and love was still increasing.

But the greatest love of all, has been most evident since Daddy had a stroke and a cerebral hemorrhage a few years ago.  In sickness and in health…Mom no longer had the strong shoulder to lean on or the  “rock” she always depended on.  This was to be their retirement years, sitting on a beach in Florida sipping mint juleps. Instead, Mom now had another “baby.” She never anticipated what it would be like as she also approached 90, to be diapering her husband, feeding him soft foods because he couldn’t swallow well, to be listening to a “baby monitor” from the other room to see if he was awakening from his nap.

At their regular Dr.’s appointment last month, I watched Mom wheel Daddy in as I hung up their coats. The Dr. assured them they are both in excellent shape – especially for their age – and admonished Mom not to “overdo” it in caring for Daddy. Because of their tremendous love and devotion shared for 70 years, she doesn’t want anyone else to feed him, change his diapers, dress him, and care for him. According to Mom, “No one can do it like I can.” And Daddy agrees. If she is even out of his sight for five minuets he asks, “Where’s Momma? He awakens in the morning with  lips puckered, awaiting his morning kiss. He sees her with her teeth out and hair resembling a troll doll and with tears in his eyes says, “Isn’t she the most beautiful thing in this world?” He still sees the little dark-haired college girl he fell in love with during the War.

When Mom wheels him into church and sits by him holding one hand and patting the other, no one can listen to the sermon for watching them snuggling.

They try to limit their kisses in church since it is distracting to others, but after 70 years of a hundred kisses a day, it’s difficult to refrain. Just as when they were newlyweds, they can’t keep their hands off of each other. He pats her in the middle of the night and says, “Sweetie are you OK?” She replies, “Yes, Daddy Boy, do you need to tinkle?”

Through the laughter, through the tears, 70-yr. covenants can not be broken. In sickness and in health, more committed and more intense with every passing  Valentine’s Day, every Anniversary and even every kiss. To honor and to cherish, till death do us part.

Read more posts by Debra Peppers, Ph.D., here. Dr. Peppers blogs for JenningsWire.


JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicist, Annie Jennings of the NYC based PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR.  Annie Jennings PR specializes in marketing books for getting authors booked on radio talk show interviews, TV shows in major online and in high circulation magazines and newspapers. Annie also works with speaker and experts to build up powerful platforms of credibility and influence.