Today is National Loving Day! It’s another one of those celebrations that should be observed and expressed every day of the year, as if it were our last, because you never know when it will be. I miss being able to tell my parents how much I love them.
This Friday will be their 67th wedding anniversary. They first met in 1955, while working for the same company. They were together for 59 years (the last 38 years were literally 24/7), until Dad unexpectedly passed in October 2014. Even when they were mad at each other and fighting, they still practiced loving every day.
It’s said that “practice makes perfect” and “nobody is perfect”, thus (as a perfectionist-wanna-be), I think we should never stop trying to achieve it. Marriage is more than one day of ceremony and celebration. It takes strong dedication and steadfastness (from both parties) – and a lot of forgiveness – to generate a lifetime of rewards from marriage.
Marriage is truly a commitment, in which two compatible people promise each other “to be faithful… to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part”… as are the basic, standard, civil marriage vows commonly recited.
Dad retired early, in 1976, to help Mom full time, managing the business side of their family enterprise, so she could concentrate on the creative side of it. They spent almost every single day together, 24/7, for the rest of their lives! LOVE, compatibility, forgiveness and communication are probably the top four qualities found in any successful marriage.
Throughout the decades, Mom and Dad’s marriage was tested in more ways than one – money, children, family, their business, even a little fame – but it withstood all the trials and tribulations… and not until death did they part. I still miss them, both, so much; but I find peace, in the belief that their spirits are together for eternity!
Mom wrote a lot about hers and Dad’s lives together, in matrimonial bliss with five children; using a loving, satirical twist, like combining the TV shows, “The Brady Bunch” and “Married With Children”. By the way, Frank Sinatra, one of Mom and Dad’s favorite performers, sings the latter show’s theme song, “Love and Marriage”!
‘GOOD MARRIAGES ARE made in heaven, or so it may seem. But, if that’s the case, a lot of the details will have to be worked out, right here, on earth.’ – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 11)
MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 62-64)
COMPATIBILITY & FORGIVENESS
THE MOST OFTEN ASKED question about Paul and I working together in this family enterprise is how we managed to remain so compatible after 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, since August 1976. The basis, I believe, for every successful relationship is always between two good forgivers.
Sure, we get in each other’s way once in a while. But we never stay mad for long. When we were in Ventura, California, in August 1989, we visited an old Spanish mission that was founded over 200 years ago. In the church edifice was a one-word sign on the wall near the rear of the room.
It’s so greatly impressed me that I thought about it for days. The word was FORGIVE. A powerful message. The essence of The Master’s own message during his earthly ministry nearly 2000 years ago. FORGIVE – who, why, what for?
In forgiving, we free ourselves from the imprisoning thoughts of resentment, of retaliation [and] anger. In forgiving, we let go of bitterness, contempt, even hatred. We are free then to love, to heal, to be healed altogether.
One word – FORGIVE – but 1000 messages. A dictionary says of this word, ‘to give up resentment against or the desire to punish; pardon (an offense or offender).’ Forgive! It’s final, complete. There are no stipulations, no exceptions in the activity of forgiveness – no qualifications for anyone to meet.
Whatever the offense, we let go of the urge to see the offender punished when we forgive. It’s a cleansing action. It wipes clean the slate of past grievances. The more we remember past offenses, the less likely we are to exercise our freedom to pardon.
Sometimes, forgiving ourselves is even harder than forgiving someone else. Forgiving requires loving. And loving is spiritual activity. Spiritual activity is prayer. So, when we are praying, we are also forgiving and, likewise, being forgiven.
Our Heavenly Father forgives us so easily, so completely. He never withholds His forgiveness from His children, His beloved offspring, which include each one of us – you, me, everyone! So, in examining the meaning of the word forgive, I can erase the pain of past offenses.
I can put the word, ‘forgive’, into action – put it to work in my relationship with others. It’s remembering to do so that takes a little work and a lot of practice, but before you know what, it becomes a habit!
The last thing every night and the first thing every morning, I whisper a ‘thank you’ to God for Paul. The last thing every night Paul’s arms are around me as we go off to sleep, and I find his arms around me again when awakening in the morning…
My first conscious thought is ‘Thank you, Father, for this good man’s love, for the beautiful partnership we have in our marriage, with our family, in our work… Thank you.’ It’s something I do automatically every night and every morning.
Even the laws of physics and physiology can never reveal to us the indisputable way in which the Creator constantly participates in the life of each of us. It points out to me over and over again that the launching pad for successful change around us is actually the change within us!
To be in marvelous accord on a number of important issues in a conversation with someone you love, who loves you back, is grand. But… lasting marriages just do not ‘happen’. They have to be shaped and molded out of the good that one or both who are concerned will see and act upon opportunities to inspire improvements.
Most marriages begin with the expectation that they will last forever. In marriages that do last, forever is not only a hope, but an ongoing philosophy. The partners simply do not think seriously about divorce as a viable option.
This attitude that a marriage will last, must last, tempers their approach to conflicts and imperfections. These people are committed to the marriage, as well as to each other. They know that love needs time to take root and then expand; that in an enduring marriage, time is on your side.
Time allows you the security of taking each other for granted, in the best sense of the term, without having constantly to impress or to prove yourself.
[As for me and Paul,] I don’t know how or when the transformation took place, but it did – gradually, beautifully. I am not sure, but perhaps the Divine hand of heaven moved the family to become more harmonious. We never really talked about specific changes in attitude or behavior…
Most folks don’t like to be ‘preached’ to. To be ‘ministered’ to is different, however. When we are ‘ministered’ to, we are cared for, looked after and handled with quiet compassion – but never with pity. We can inspire someone to change but we dare not insist upon it!
When we see those we care about, somehow in conflict, and we know we can’t interfere; we can, instead, give out strong, moral support in silent prayer. Sometimes we focus so much on what is WRONG, that we failed to see how to correct it. We worry too much on WHO is right, rather than on WHAT is right!
In overcoming just the ordinary aggravations of being in business for ourselves, we also had to iron out the little conflicts over who would handle certain aspects of the work and how it would be handled.
We were constantly having to compromise. That was the toughest step! Paul’s mother surely would have been proud of us and what we had accomplished together, if she had been able to witness any of this.
National Loving Day is very special – in fact, so is every day we are given. Love who you love. Be who you are. These are part of our 1st amendment rights, to pursue happiness, and should never be denied to anyone. Check out NationalDayCalendar.com, for the fascinating story of how today’s celebration came to be.
In honor of Wednesday, being National Strawberry Shortcake Day, here’s Mom’s secret recipe for Sugar Free Strawberry Shortcake (one of Dad’s favorite summertime desserts), as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Copycat Cookbook, (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; April 1988, p. 91).
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
June observes, among other things… National Candy Month, National Camping Month, National Caribbean American Month, National Country Cooking Month, National Dairy Month, National Great Outdoors Month, National Iced Tea Month, National Papaya Month, and National Soul Food Month!
This week celebrates the start of… Men’s Health Week [the second Sunday in June through Father’s Day, which is always the 3rd Sunday] (11th-18th for 2023)! Additionally, the second week in June, is also… National Little League Week and National Flag Week, which is always the week of [June 14th] National Flag Day (11th-17th for 2023)!
Today is also… National Red Rose Day (plus, it’s National Rose Month), National Jerky Day, and National Peanut Butter Cookie Day! Beginning the second Monday of June (for five days), it’s also… National Business Etiquette Week (12th-16th for 2023)!
June 16th, is… National Fudge Day! Plus, it’s Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary. In honor of both, pictured below is a reshare of Mom’s “Somewhere in Time Chocolate Fudge” recipe, as seen in her last book… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – Best Of The Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 235). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).] It’s one of our family’s favorites!
Saturday, June 17th, is… National Eat Your Vegetables Day (it’s also… National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month), National Stewart’s Root Beer Day, National Apple Strudel Day, and National Cherry Tart Day!
June 18th, is… National Splurge Day! Plus, as the third Sunday in June (for 2023), it’s also… Turkey Lovers’ Day (plus, it’s National Turkey Lovers Month, too)! Additionally, beginning the third Sunday in June (18th-24th for 2023), it’s also… National Play Catch Week and Animal Rights Awareness Week!
…24 down and 28 to go!