“Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m 64?” That is the famous question asked by The Beatles on their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The first time I heard that song, I believe, was at my cousin’s wedding.
In the middle of this formal wedding in an Episcopal church, the bride’s brother, my cousin, sang a song. The suit-clad troubadour got up front, sat in a folding chair, crossed his legs-which showed off his rainbow-soled flipflops which were so popular at the time-and began playing his guitar. The song he played and sang, of course, was “When I’m 64”. I was quite young at the time, so I don’t remember all the details, but I’m sure the performance brought more than a few chuckles.
My cousin and her husband are not yet 64, but their marriage has lasted. So I guess a flipflop Beatles-playing brother can’t be such a bad omen.
But what I’m pondering today is not the question of when the person is 64, but when the couple has been married 64 years. Such is the case today with my parents.
My mom was a war bride. Still a senior at Magnolia High School, she married the love of her life before he went off to the army. If you told me of a teenager doing that today I would tell you that is a crazy, impetuous move. I would think, but probably not articulate aloud, that the union would likely never last.
I could obviously be wrong.
My parents, really an odd couple if their personalities are compared, have made their marriage work for more years than many people even get to enjoy on this earth. They have been great examples of love, discipline, understanding, servitude to each other, and perhaps most importantly a love of life. They have raised us well and for that all of their children are thankful.
We joke that this anniversary may be a milestone, but technically they’re separated. No, not in the usual sense-the sense that would make this anniversary somewhat null and void. They are separated by the distance of about a mile or two as my mother is a resident at the New Martinsville Health Care Center, but their marriage is certainly still as strong as ever.
Thank you, mom and dad, for being great parents and an excellent example of true love and dedication to a marriage.