y si quieren saber de mi pasado, es preciso decir una mentira, les dire que llegue de un mundo raro, que no se del dolor, que triunfe en el amor y que nunca he llorado…
Today marks my mom and dad’s 49th wedding anniversary. As I have shared in other posts, my relationship with my parents has improved significantly and we are much closer than we have ever been. At least that’s the way I feel, perhaps nothing has changed for them but for me there is a clear difference. I went home this past weekend to visit my parents and on that visit each of them made a comment about the other to me. Usually when I’m alone with one all they do is complain about the other, which after 49 years is completely understandable. They get on each other’s nerves sometimes and they argue and love to complain to anyone who will listen about how fed up they are with each other. My parents have never been very affectionate, since I was a kid I mostly recall my dad chasing after my mom to give her a kiss or algún cariño and her response was always to play it off, she never went along with it, or at least not in front me. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them hold hands but I suppose that’s just not their way of showing affection. What I do remember is them slow dancing at weddings and bailes, I remember because I never saw them show affection otherwise I just couldn’t take my eyes off of them when they danced.
This visit, however, they each said something to me about each other that reminded me of their love for each other or perhaps of the way they show affection and love for one another. At one point this weekend my mom and I were in the car alone and we were talking about something that my dad does that gets on her nerves, (he looks at himself in the car mirrors all the time) and as she was complaining about this she paused and said, “well there’s no one else in this world like your dad, huh?” I told her, “yep, you’re right” and we just laughed. She was quiet for a few moments afterwards and I could tell she was thinking very deeply about something. I like to think it was about my dad, and all those things he does that gets on her nerves that actually really don’t get on her nerves so much at all and are actually some of the reasons why she loves my dad. The next day as my dad and I are waiting outside for my mom and I can tell he is getting agitated because they are going to be late for church. He then tells me, “what is she doing that she is taking so long?” to which I respond, “I dunno dad, you know mom.” To which he responds, “I guess I shouldn’t complain because I would be lost without her.” It was sweet and I really didn’t have anything to say to him in response to that.
My parents have been together for 49 years, as someone who has not had the best luck with relationships I can’t imagine the level of love, effort and commitment that takes. I appreciate how honest they are with each other, and I appreciate their ability to argue vehemently and reconcile a few days later. As a kid, they fought all the time and they still fight on a daily basis, but it’s taken me quite some time to understand the depth of their commitment to each other and to my brother, sister and myself. I love my parents and they continue to inspire me to continue to be open to finding love, even though sometimes I feel as though time is running out. This reference to time is not so much about getting married or starting a family of my own, two things I’m particularly uncertain about and not particularly committed to seeking at the moment. Rather, I feel like time is running out for my parents to witness me in love . I always imagined that by the time their 50th anniversary came about, I’d be in a committed relationship with a woman they loved because of how much she loved me. I always imagined there would be a big party at the Salon Hidalgo and as they were slow dancing with each other, that I would also be slow dancing with my own love. Their 50th anniversary is exactly one year away and of course I feel as though time is slipping away. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my beautiful life and I’m extremely grateful to be in the place that i am at this moment and doing work that I love. I have lots of love in my life, but not the same kind of love I see my parents enjoy with one another. Perhaps its cliché, or cheesy to entertain the idea of a relationship lasting 49 years, but I find myself wondering if will ever be blessed with a love like that. I’ve been in love, but in each occasion there were too many opportunities for both parties to screw things up. I’m in a place where I love my life, feel in control of my life and truly believe that I have the capacity to be vulnerable with someone in a way that I had been able to four years ago. I’ve been single for almost four years, these years of solitude have taught me a lot about myself and the mistakes I’ve made in the past.
My parents are of a different generation and I’m not realistically expecting to experience a relationship with that kind of longevity. I appreciate their love and how their love ties me to them, for that I am ever grateful. So while their anniversary has prompted me to reflect very intensely on how I’ve experienced love and also about the possibility that they may not see me in love. I can tell that my parents worry I will not experience the type of companionship and partnership they have both enjoyed and hated. I suppose I have written a bit too much about myself and my own anxieties about love and companionship but this is what their anniversary has prompted for me. It has also reminded me that I what I know about love, is grounded in how I’ve seen them love each other. This, I believe is one of the greatest gifts they’ve given me.
So today, April 25th I wish my mom and dad a happy anniversary and I wish them many more years of happiness. Ama y Apa, los quiero mucho.
Here’s a couple tracks that remind me of my parents.
1. Sabor A Mi – Eydie Gorme and Los Panchos – I remember my dad listening to Los Panchos on the record player while drinking his saturday afternoon beer.
2. You Send Me – Sam Cooke – This was a song my dad always told me described how he felt about my mom.
3. He’s So Fine – The Chiffons – My mom apparently used to sing this to my dad when they were first dating.