Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sixty-Six Years

Bedtime was strictly enforced when I was a little girl. By early evening my little sister and I were tucked in for the night. She fell asleep quickly, but for me it was only the beginning of the night watch.

It was a time when I dreamed dreams and pretended I was the latest heroine in my little world. Sometimes I was Pollyanna; others a princess living in a magical land; Shirley Temple captured my imagination for a long time and when the Mouseketeers made their debut, I longed to be just like Annette.

There were other, darker things that sometimes kept me company in my night watches. Stories of kidnapped children, stolen from their beds in the middle of the night somehow made their way into my consciousness. Ever the cautious one, I would take a flying leap into bed, lean over the edge and then fearfully lift the edge of my bedspread to make sure all was well.

I often managed to stay awake until my parents turned off the television and made their way to their bedroom. It was right next to ours. I waited until they turned off the lights and then snuggled deep under the covers. I knew what was coming next - the one thing that dispelled all the fears and worries. The gentle murmur of voices.

I never could make out the words, but I didn't really want to. I just wanted to know they were there - together. I imagined them in the big double bed talking about grown-up Mom and Dad things. My world felt warm and safe, and I slept.

They celebrated sixty-six years of shared conversation and deep abiding love this past January. That love has comforted and blessed our family in ways that cannot be measured. I still, all these years later, find such warmth and safety in the sound of their voices.


linking to the High Calling series on marriage at Jennifer's blog.

Blessings,
Linda

14 comments:

Dawn said...

They were 8 months ahead of my folks - such a blessing to have such longevity, isn't it?? And to know that all my siblings and I are still together with our spouses. We are beating the sad odds!

This was so sweet, Linda.

diana said...

What a lovely tribute, Linda. And hearing those voices - yes, that somehow made everything all right, didn't it? Thanks for this, friend. Each of our parents lasted 62 years before our fathers died. My mom is still not over dad's death and it's been 7 years today since he left us.

Sandra Heska King said...

I wanted to be Annette, too. But more in my dreams, I wanted to play for the Detroit Tigers.

Lovely tribute, just like Diana said.

lil red hen said...

Precious memories ~ how they linger! Such a sweet little girl. I had a big sister to sleep with so I don't remember being afraid at night. Only as an adult, are fears creeping into my life as I think of drawing nearer to old age.

You're very blessed to have your parents.

Thoughts for the day said...

That had to have been very good for you to know they were near.
I did not have that.
Often bedtime was on my own.
Often our mother was gone and our dad too.
It was us girls
alone.
I am glad you have that precious memory.

grammy said...

My world was a little different....
My Mom was a widow....so I knew nothing about the sound of parents talking in the next room. However... She was my rock and made me feel safe. I remember her going down to the scary dark basement to 'bank' the coal furnace for the night. I would wait in frozen fear ( just because kids have to be afraid of something) till she reappeared at the top of the stairs (o:

Nancy said...

I think you did listen, and learned how to speak warm, comforting words.

Young romantic love is pretty in its own way, but give me the rich warmth of love that has lasted the years. That's real beauty.

emily wierenga said...

i love these stories, dear linda...

Maria said...

Hi Linda!
This is such a precious family picture. How blessed you are to still have them near and so dear ♥ I need one of them to tell me I'm staying up too late :o)
It's well after midnight and I'm always trying to steal a little bit more of the day for myself.

I wish you a wonderful weekend, Linda!
blessings always,
♥ Maria

Patricia said...

What a sweet, sweet story, Linda...and I'm sure I don't need to tell you how blessed you are to still have your parents with you...for I'm sure you know it.

Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com said...

I absolutely loved this, Linda. You are a terrific storyteller. I was right there with you, scared in the dark. ... But I'd never have the nerve to actually lift the bedcovers to see if there was something spooky under there! :)

deb colarossi said...

I feel wrapped in that love in the way you told the story Linda. How wonderful.
Give them my congratulations !

Cheryl said...

Their gift to you continues through you, to me. These tender words bring a smile to my face.

Megan Willome said...

Congrats to your parents! Every time I hear of someone who has been married 50+ years, I wonder, "How did nobody die?" In my family, everybody dies.