Thirty-seven years ago today, my parents got all gussied up and tied the knot in a little Maronite Catholic Church in Detroit, Michigan. To save you the math: 1969.
To do anything in dowtown Detroit in 1969 you had to have two things: guts and optimism. Over the course of thirty-seven years my folks have drawn bucketfuls of both.
Two kids, one of them gay. Sixteen changes of address in eleven states. Three family car trips across North America. Temporary duty assignments, cramped base housing. School tuition, college tuition, lessons in tennis and oil painting. Long division lessons on the kitchen table. First Communions, Cub Scout camp. Inept moving companies, uniforms to iron, dinners to cook, an exploding Plymouth Scamp, Christmas on a shoestring, birthdays on a shoestring, Disneyland on a shoestring, nutty relatives, two senior proms, tomato soup on the kitchen ceiling. And the ever-present knowledge that no matter how comfortable we might be, the next day word might come from the Air Force that it was time to pack it all up.
Never once, never once, did I hear them complain. Never once did I feel poor. Never once did I worry about where the future would take us. With my parents in charge, my sister and I knew things would be fine.
They taught us to hit the ground running, to keep our chins up, and to watch our asses. They taught us guts and optimism, and they're still teaching us.
They were both shockingly young in 1969. Young enough that if the wedding were happening today, people would shake their heads and make bleak predictions.
Ladies and gentlemen, my parents. A tribute to the power of guts and optimism.
Oh, and love.