Wednesday, September 3, 2008

37 Years

As of September 4, that's how long my parents have been married. After successfully raising three kids who have avoided jail time or any major self inflicted drama I have to applaud this feat. You see, its because of them that my sense of self is strong, that my family values are so important, that I love my children as much as I should, that I laugh as much as I do.

They have been married all of my life, like it should be for all kids. Growing up, I took for granted the fact that divorce surrounded us. It effected everyone of my cousins, too many of my friends and even ended great friendships my parents and had created.

As a child, I remember my parents arguing once in front of me that I can remember. Mom got mad and went to the the bedroom. Dad sat there with a blank look on his face - not knowing what to do. It appeared that he had never had to comfort her after a fight so didn't have a clue as to what to do next. My sister and I went to my room and worried that they would get a divorce. That seems almost laughable today. My parents will always be together, that was the true certainly and the only real truth I knew as I grew up. That was everything to me. It still is.

My parents love for each other inspires me to be a better husband, a better father and a better man. Even though I know I will never live up to the high expectations that they have set for all three of their kids. The bar is set pretty high. I suppose if I can do half a good a job as they did I will have to consider my life, my marriage and my family an overwhelming success.

I love this picture because there are so many stories I could tell about this moment and about these people. The story that is most worth telling is that this picture to some extent represents my parents life's work. Three happy kids, and their adoring spouses. I'm not sure who is luckier, my parents or their children. And that is definitely a debate worth having.


erica said...

Bravo, brother! I couldn't agree more. AND I think right after this shot someone said, "And now a crazy one!"...which is one of my ALL TIME faves.

Josh Fleming said...

Yes, I'll have to post the crazy one as well

linda said...

Thank you for this. My heart is full,

linda said...

Okay, now that my tears have cleared, I can send this out to you, Josh. First, thanks for the kind sentiments, and sweet memories. But much more importantly, know that you are way, way, way beyond the "half as good" that you mention. I am so very proud of the father that you are; the father who takes care of my baby-grands.
As for me - my legacy will be first and foremost my three kids and what all you have done, and will do, in your lives to make this world just a little bit better than you found it, the wonderful partners you have all three found, and the little ones you have produced.... with more to follow. I am truly a blessed, lucky, and grateful man.
- Dad

Garity said...

Another great read. ARGH! Now I'm sad I never took the time to meet your parents in high school! In my defense I was afraid of most parents (for no reason I can think of now). Tell your parents that I admire them and after all these years I am also impressed with the father/husband/son that you are. You are a great man Josh! Thanks for making me realized how blessed I am that both sets of my grandparents are still married after 60+ years and that my parents are going on 35 years. Kris and I just had our 10th anniversary this weekend and I'm looking forward to many more...we could learn a lot from our parents!