I just returned from Texas where my family gathered to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary. What a wonderful time it was! And how touching to see my parents, now in their later years, being so tender and loving. I have many memories of them canoodling with each other and embarrassing us kids to death! They always said, “You’ll be glad some day that you have parents who express their love for each other.” It didn’t seem so at the time, in the middle of the Waffle House! But now, I know what they meant.

At their party my dad made a toast in tribute to my mother. He spoke about the one thing which has gotten them to this 50 year milestone: commitment. He reminded me of what my husband’s father said when we asked him what the secret was to my inlaw’s 50th anniversary. He said, “From the first day of our marriage, there was no more idea of Me or You. It was We, and it stayed that way throughout the years.” He was expressing the same concept of commitment.

I have to say from our young vantage point of “just” 23 years of marriage, my husband and I agree that commitment plays a huge part in keeping a marriage strong. And it’s a commitment to the marriage, as well as to each other. There are many things which can create stress in a marriage. And without commitment, it can be all too easy to throw in the towel, to not be willing to do the work necessary to weather the storms. With commitment, we find we have more resolve to work things out, to find the road to peace and to give love the chance to grow stronger and stronger.

I wrote a song which my brother, sister and I sang to my parents. It is entitled “Love Grows Strong” and the chorus says “Time goes by, our love grows strong. At your side is where I belong…” It is true that time passing has seen my parents’ love grow stronger and strong for each other. For that I am extremely grateful. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you both!