This blog was written three years ago in honor of my godparents. Sadly, my godfather passed away last Monday, on their 63rd wedding anniversary, and we will bury him in the morning. I have deep sense of sadness but also amazing gratitude at having known them and at having the privilege to be their goddaughter.
Last week I got a chance to visit with my godparents. I love them so much. They are both incredible role models to me and have treated me well all of my life. They took their roles in my life seriously and they accepted their responsibility for my spiritual upbringing to the fullest. To this day they send me prayers by mail and I get solid hugs, love and words, both correcting and edifying.
In a few weeks they are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary! Yes that’s 60 like 6-0, like 56,57,58, 59, 60! They were married on June 14, 1947. She was 19 and he was 21 or 22 and just back from World War II. I am so very proud of them.
I remember for their 50th I asked what the secret was. My Nina Lola, as I call her (Delores as the world calls her), said, “We stuck it out. You don’t always feel the ‘in love’ feeling, there are ups and downs but the ups always come back and the downs are there too, but you begin to understand that it’s life. That’s the problem with you kids, you give up too easy and you miss out. The first down and you are out.”
This year, we asked her again what the secret was. She said, “Love, communication, you have to be able to have things to talk about, respect is very important and morals.” She still calls, my Nino George, “Hun”. My Nina Lola will be 80 next month and Nino George will be 82 I think or 83 in July. He listened to what she had to say about how they sustained 60 years and he chuckled and said with a sparkle in his eye, “Who’s been married 60 years? Not me!” He’s always had a great sense of humor and can keep you laughing with these kinds of typical retorts. She said, “Not 60 years, 50 years. Oh yeah, it is 60 years isn’t it?” Then we all laughed. How cool it was that to them it didn’t seem as though it was a life sentence!
I don’t know if when they first met and felt that first spark of love touch them both that they ever imagined 60 years but I’d like to think so. They are parents, grandparents and great-grandparents and they live in the very first house they bought. That spark has created security for all of us and for that I am so grateful. I can’t express the love that I feel for them. They are funny and rich in character and I am so much better for having them in my life. They have taught me that the things that are important in life are simple. Love your family, work at something you are good at and don’t expect perfection, set down roots and go to church. Monetarily they could have moved to a bigger house at any point, taken lavish vacations or done whatever they wanted. Instead they taught us to save our money and be content.
60 years. What a blessing. I can’t even imagine them apart. 60 years. What a legacy. When you realize that some people don’t live that long so to be married that long is a blessing. To find a couple who are at peace with each other and who have learned to get along is a gift. That is truly a gift worth thanking God for!