On August 20, 1949 at St Anthony Catholic Church in Davenport Iowa, the lanky football star in the picture above married his college sweetheart and they embarked on their life together. They are my parents Mike and Tess Scheck on their wedding day 59 years ago.
They raised nine children and lived together for twenty-four years before cancer took dad's life at the age of 48. Mom had to soldier on alone after that because six of the children were still living at home and needed her to be strong for them.
I realized this year that mrangelmeg and I have been granted the gift of a longer marriage than my parents were given. I feel so blessed, because I owe so much to my parents. Without their example of total self-giving love I am not sure I would understand how to be a married woman.
I still remember their morning ritual of coffee together, when they would sit and discuss the minutia of their day. To an outsider it might have looked humdrum, but I could see the simple gestures that passed between them; his getting up to refill her cup, her hand resting lightly on his arm, the way they passed the morning paper sections back and forth between them; each was so infused with devotion.
Then she would follow him out to the hallway as he left for work; he walked because the school where he taught was only a few blocks away. They would linger over one last kiss at the door, her hand lost in the hair at the back of his neck. And then he would smile and leave for the day.
She told me once years after he died that she had trouble sleeping in the bed they shared without him beside her. This is something I can relate to completely because I struggle sleeping without mrangelmeg even when he is on travel for a few nights let alone weeks or months. I would shudder to think of having to imagine him never returning to the bed we have shared all these years.
I know my parents must have argued, but I can't remember ever hearing them have a huge screaming fight. If they ever got frustrated with each other they seemed to be able to work out their differences without taking it out on each other. Although my dad did have a habit of sweeping the front room with a broom whenever he needed to release pent up aggression. Whenever he was doing that, we knew to stay away until he calmed down (or went to confession, whichever came first).
Anyway, I wanted to honor my parents today. I went to visit mom yesterday. I lit a candle for Dad today. Happy anniversary mom and dad.