Friday, August 31

love stories: my beautiful parents

Today, I have a very special guest post for you all. In honor of my parents' 37th (holy crap!) wedding anniversary which they celebrated this past week, my dad (John) is here to tell you his love story with my mom (Deedie). 

I may have mentioned this before, but I really do have the greatest parents ever. When I was younger, however, I didn't know just how lucky I was. I smirked at the fact that my parents eloped instead of having a giant wedding (now, the thought of eloping is possibly one of the most romantic I can think of). I was always confused as to why my mom wore such a simple wedding band instead of one with diamonds (now I wouldn't want a diamond ring if my life depended on it).

Basically, I was a huge brat.

But I find it kind of ironic. Everything that they have: a simple, loving, lasting and adventurous relationship, is exactly what I'm hoping for. Their story inspires me and I hope it inspires you all too. 


In the words of my dad, John:

"I was living with two other guys, one of which, Brian, had been dating a woman named Dorothy since the 8th grade. Dorothy and her roommate, Deedie, had also known one another since their high school years. Brain would frequently ask me to come with him over to Dorothy’s and of course I’d say no. I felt like it was odd for me to just show up. Eventually, though, I gave in. One night we all ended up at Dorothy and Deedie’s apartment and there we were, the four of us. Then a few weeks later, a group of us were going to the zoo and Deedie and Dorothy stopped by my apartment to pick up Brian  and I decided to go also. So that’s how it all began and soon after, we went out on our first few dates! I'll never forget one of our first dates. I loved Greek food and grape leaves and Deedie had never tried them before, so we went to a restaurant called Zorba’s. On another date, I took her to a place called Downunder where I introduced her to frog legs and steak tartar. She was a good sport.

Then back in 1972, I gave Deedie my first gift to her: a book called Together We Walk by Peter S. Seymour. I think I was a bit of a romantic back then, maybe I've changed now! Anyhow, back to the book. In it I wrote,

“No matter what that promise of tomorrow may be, I want you to know that you brought more into my Christmas this year than anyone else has for a long, long, time. I’ll be thinking of you on the 25th. Merry Christmas Deedie. Love, John ‘72”

It's funny... we were 22 years old... yea, a long, long, time ago! Oh to be young! A few years later, I was offered a job in Puerto Rico and me being me, I jumped at the chance! I went to San Juan, to my tiny but beachfront pad and life went on. Deedie visited but was not thrilled with the arrangement. I was (and still am) the “gypsy” type: the one that would scrape up every dime I could, buy a plane ticket to anywhere it would get me to, then with little to no money, hitchhike to town and blend in with the locals and culture. But Deedie was conservative. She planned and saved and was never frivolous nor spontaneous.

Could such personality differences really work and could the relationship really last? Over the course of the time I was in San Juan, if Deedie wasn’t on the island visiting we were talking on the phone all the time. Eventually, I proposed.


Deedie flew down to San Juan and we eloped in St. Thomas! We arranged for a local photographer to follow us and take pictures at the courthouse and hotel. Our twosome wedding reception was dinner for two at the Mafolie Hotel overlooking the harbor as the sun set. Deedie was, at the time, a flight attendant with National Airlines and as luck would have it, National was about to go on strike, which could last for months. So Deedie and I bought plane tickets to Europe and off we went on a month honeymoon full of adventure. Deedie and I first went to Athens (and bought our wedding bands there), then to Mykonos, Greece for four days, then to Paris to meet up with my friend, Chris. As hard as we tried, it took an entire first evening to convince Chris we had actually eloped. No one believed us!

Then came 1988. Again, I was the forever gypsy and adventurer-type and Deedie was very grounded. But 1988 was the turning point that fully made the two of us one when our daughter was born and our life was forever changed. Having a child, and at a time in one’s life when they have seen everything and been everywhere... maybe two or three times, is the most remarkable event you can imagine and that segment of our “new” life began.



Over the years, things were great and things were not so great. Deedie eventually worked for three airlines, Pan Am being one of them, and I worked for about six different companies.We lived in Miami and San Francisco together, then I lived in Washington DC while Deedie lived again in Miami. Then we moved to Munich, I moved to Malaysia (for work) and we all lived in Dallas, then Anna Maria Island, then Lake Tahoe and now San Rafael, California.

At the onset, to me, love was fun. It was romance and togetherness and saying “I love you."

Love over the years, however, becomes trust, compassion, assisting when one or the other is down and when life’s difficulties seem to be taking a toll. It's not saying “I love you” but meaning and knowing that you love each other. Love is when differences no longer matter; they are there, they have been there and they will always be there. But they aren't on the forefront. They're managed and their importance becomes minimized and accepted.

Is any of it easy? No. Is it worth the work and effort? That question, I think, depends on only the two people involved. To many, no it’s not. But to others... absolutely.

I love Deedie Carmona Safran and always will."


My parents | Lake Tahoe | November 2010 

{Congratulations on 37 years, Mom and Dad. I love you so much!}

29 comments:

Niken said...

Wow!
Happy anniversary for your parents! Love to hear this story,

Katherine / Of Corgis and Cocktails said...

OH MY GOSH tears. this is so sweet. i love that he called her a 'good sport' about the food! and that they are 'complimentary' personalities - sounds like your mom keeps him a bit grounded. and how cool is that that they eloped. you are lucky to have such amazing parents!

<3 katherine
of corgis and cocktails

Siobhan McCarthy said...

God this is precious!!!!!!!!

Brielle said...

awww this is so sweet and wonderful!

Lottie said...

happy anniversary to your parents!

what a lovely tale :)

Dale Sitzmann said...

congrats to your parents! Also I have major mustache envy.

Nicky said...

this is SO sweet! love that you got your dad to share, i loveddd reading it!

jackie said...

this is the sweetest thing. and 37 years?! that's impressive. good for them :)

Stesha said...

this is the darlingess thing. How sweet are they! happy anniversary to them!

xxS

Carey said...

aw so cute. and what inspiration as I head into married life. I hope my marriage is just as exciting, loving, and lasting as your parents.
Happy Anniversary to the forever lovebirds!

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

This is the sweetest thing ever. What a great story they have! Happy Anniversary!!

Katherine Fischer said...

this is SO sweet!!! i love it!!

Lauryn Wells said...

I love this story Allie! The picture at the end is down the street from my cabin at Donner- CRAZY!

Meg {henninglove} said...

what a great love story, thanks for sharing about your parents. and your dad's word are so right!! your parents are so darling

Shybiker said...

Awww... one of the sweetest posts I've ever read. Your parents are darling and you're a good daughter to create this. Every family should be as happy as yours. :)

Elle said...

Wow well done to them and what a lovely story, so romantic and different to the normal 'mum and dad' stories, I loved reading it. So unique :) xo

Rachael {all things beautiful} said...

What an absolutely beautiful love story! Thank you SO much for sharing. And I have to be honest.. I might be stealing your idea when my parents celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary in December. I love that you had your dad write a post.. so sweet, heartfelt, and genuine. I might have to get my pops on board with that! Happy weekend!

xoxo

call me debbie said...

Isn't it a little bit strange (nice-strange) to narrate yours parents love story? :)

Shannon said...

What a lovely story! I can't believe they've been married 37 years. That's so wonderful. :)

katie said...

uhmm, actually sobbing. this is easily my favorite blog feature of all time, and your parents' story is SO. sweet. <3<3

Jenny said...

Tears again! Please don't ever drop this feature! Your parents have a beautiful story, thank you for sharing this with us. x

http://www.jenventure.blogspot.co.uk

The Adventurer said...

That Christmas gift. Dying. How sweet your parents are and how blessed you are, my friend. I am so glad you shared THIS love story. The best.

Jess | the Jess Journals said...

Awww I LOVE this!! So sweet! Congratulations to your parents!!

Amy said...

Awww this is so, so sweet. I'm so thankful I saw this today, I really needed to be encouraged of what true love really looks like. Thank you so much for sharing :) Happy Anniversary to your parents!

Katie said...

Your father's definition of love is beautiful. Congratulations to your parents :)

MacKenzie Anderson said...

oh my goodness! I definitely teared up a little! How sweet, you are a lucky girl to have such amazing parents <3

Jess said...

Gosh this was just so sweet. Hey they don't live too far from me! I bet they love the restaurant Sol Food since it is Puerto Rican and in San Rafael :)

I thought it was really great to hear this story from your dad's perspective and I hope to have a love that lasts just as long!

xoxo Jess

Dog Problems

Melissa said...

My parents inspire me, as well! I don't think I would believe if love if they weren't still together. They give me hope that someday I'll be able to spend my life with my perfect match!

btw, I stopped by from Elycia's blog!


<3 Melissa
wildflwrchild.blogspot.com

Lena said...

Ohmygoshohmygosh.. this is absolutely ADORABLE!