April 9, 1988. The day, Dad says his life changed forever. Depending on the day, or how much Dad spent on tractor parts, determines whether Mom refers to their wedding anniversary as the best day of her life or not.
For the past 29 years, my parents have taken on the world together and tested each one of those vows they gave to each other. Sickness, health, deployments, hogs, cows, droughts, fire and of course, two lovely daughters have just strengthened their bond to each other.
Their love story is something out of a story book. They met young, and Mom always knew that Dad was the one for her. But Dad wasn’t ready to settle down so Mom waited, and eventually Dad realized that Mom was the only one for him. They got married, bought a farm and began the journey of a life in agriculture.
Growing up, I never realized how much love they had for each other. I thought it was completely normal to yell at each other while sorting cows and apologize moments later when they were all in the right pen. That it was completely normal that Dad didn’t cook with onions even though he loves them because Mom didn’t like them. That all decisions were made around the kitchen table as a family. I never realized those little things were signs of a big love.
Today, I realize that love isn’t just holding hands in the car, kissing in the rain, and all those other romantic ideas. Love is running from the house to the barn multiple times because Dad always forgets something. Love is reminding Mom to check her oil in her car and changing it for her. Love is always having American Honey on hand because it’s Dad’s favorite drink. Love is long boat ride, sitting on the back deck, riding on the tractor together. My parents are the most wonderful example of seeing love in the little things.
To my parents, love isn’t something that comes and goes. They may be pissed off, tired or even miles away from each other but their love is still strong. And after 29 years and two girls later, that is one heck of an accomplishment.