17 January 2008

Happy 62nd Anniversary Mom and Dad

My parents got married in 1946 when my mom was a 19-year-old Western Union teletype operator and my dad was a 28-year-old veteran who had returned from WWII just a few months earlier.

They met when Dad was a park ranger in Santa Maria, California. Mom lived with her family in a house on the park property because her father worked there. One day she was out stealing waterlilies from the pond (don't try this at home - waterlilies have extra-strong stems and are not easily stolen) when Dad caught her. She didn't like him but that didn't dissuade him. She was supposed to be dating another guy, but when he failed to show one evening, Dad snuck in and one kiss was all it took. Way to go, Dad.

They wrote back and forth when he went off to Europe as an Army Master Sergeant, fighting the Germans in France and Belgium, including the Battle of the Bulge. After V-E (Victory in Europe) Day, he was returned to the U.S. and was on his way to fight in the Pacific when the atom bomb was dropped and the war was suddenly over.

She still has the telegraph he sent when he returned; "You can call me mister now," a reference to not being called by his Army rank anymore.

They decided almost immediately to marry. Short courtships were the rule rather than the exception back then. It was to be a small ceremony in her parents' home, attended by family, including Mom's only brother, who had received special leave from the Navy to be there.

Several days in advance of the wedding, Mom and Dad went to get their marriage license. They were under the impression that they had to wait a few days after they got it to get married. When the clerk told them that they could be married immediately, they weighed their options: a small family wedding in 3 days' time, or that very evening in each others' arms as man and wife? Romance won out over practicality.

They eloped and their disappearance caused a bit of consternation that the wedding plans were ruined, but married was married. My eldest sister was born 10 months later, in November, and five other children followed.

62 years later they are still very much a team. Mom washes and Dad dries. He tells stories and she fact-checks them. She drives and he still navigates, despite being legally blind.

That I can see them every day is something I count among my greatest blessings. That they found each other and stuck by each other so long is another. I am so glad they are my folks. Happy anniversary, you nutty kids.

Mom and Dad

26 comments:

dobbs said...

What a lovely story. Happy Anniversary to your Mom and Dad!

super des said...

I love this story.

Happy anniversary!

I someday want to have my daughter tell a similar one of me.

<3

Mir said...

That's the best story I've heard in a long time. Happy anniversary to your parents!

Kris said...

Happy anniversary to Mom and Dad Stapler!!! What a fantastic story. Gives me some hope in these crappy times. Thanks for sharing.

Mayberry said...

What a great story to start the morning. Happy anniversary!

shandon said...

That story makes me so happy. And what a terrific picture of your folks, too! Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Wow. 62 years of marriage is unheard of these days. Congratulations to them! My parents were married just 10 days shy of 52 years when my mom passed away. She was engaged to another man when she met my dad, and he had to be persistent.

Happy anniversary to your parents.

lizgwiz said...

Awww...sweet!

meno said...

*sniff*

I guess sometimes happily ever after really does happen.

Happy Anniversary to your folks.

mar said...

happy, happy!
that's an amazingly uplifting story. i hope to be that way in another 60-something years.
my paternal grandparents celebrated their 50th one year before my granddad passed away.

mamatulip said...

I love this post. Thanks for sharing a bit of your parents' history with us. Happy Anniversary to them!

Laura said...

I love that story... sniff sniff. I hope I can write that about my parents who have been married for 36 years... and my kids can write that about me.

Average Jane said...

Wow, 62 years! Happy Anniversary to the Elder Staplers!

Count Mockula said...

That was so sweet. Thank you for sharing it.

Chris said...

What a beautiful story. 62 years, that is amazing.

Jhianna said...

Happy Anniversary!

jessica said...

They are so cute!
Happy Anniversary!

arse poetica said...

Sweetest post ever. Happy anniversary, SueBob's parents! And many moooooooooooore.

Juliness said...

Beautiful story!

QT said...

That is a sweet story - thanks for sharing it - Happy Anniversary to them!

Oh, The Joys said...

It is a blessing that you see them every day. A huge one.

Staci Schoff said...

Aww!!! Happy Anniversary to them!

FENICLE said...

I love this story too!! Happy Anniversary to them!

That is an impressive amount of time together.

Suzanne said...

Their story is so wonderful, I'm smiling from ear to ear. Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad Red Stapler and thanks for raising such an awesome daughter.

Major Bedhead said...

That's a lovely story, one you don't often hear these days.

Happy anniversary!

LiteralDan said...

What a great story-- they look as happy in the picture are you describe them. Happy anniversary to them. They remind me of my parents, though mine are only at 35 years so far.

I love that it looks like your dad is wandering off, and your mom is telling him to stay put cause they're taking another picture. Though maybe the smile on his face says he knows but he's too old to care.

That'll be me someday. Soon.

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