Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Corner View: "Wisdom from an elder"

Jane at Spain Daily has a weekly theme on which people from all corners of the world respond. Please take a moment to visit her site and read the other Corner Views! This week's theme is "Wisdom from an Elder."

There are many Italians in the Providence RI area. My mother and I were visiting her friend and the friend took us over to her mother's and father's house to visit. The parents were in their 80's and had been married nearly 60 years. She was a homemaker, keeping a clean and neat house and offering espresso and Italian  cakes to her guests. The husband was still active as a handyman and went to and fro between the breezeway and the living room where the women were gathered busy on all his projects in progress. 

He, in his droopy carpenter pants and workboots and she in her old world house-dress and apron, the living room crowded with Victorian style with massive mahogany buffets and hutches, themselves crowded with dishes and mementos of family, the darkened living room containing the plastic covered furniture, seemed like a trip back into time. Another century perhaps.

However, despite the dark decor, their banter was light and loving. As the husband passed through the living room and asked constant "where is" questions, his wife, rather than annoyed with interruptions, joked with him and accommodated every request. He, though he made many trips between and among our conversation, never failed to gently touch her as he passed, peck her cheek, or softly sing or stop to chat.

Me, in my twenties and never having seen a marriage in force lasting longer than 10 years, was amazed at their obvious love despite being together for almost half a century, through hardship, heartache, wars, good times, and everything life had thrown at them.

Curious, I asked her, earnestly and plainly in awe, "Mrs So and So, what is the secret to a good marriage?"

She turned her bright eyes and wrinkled face to me, and putting up one arthritic, bent index finger, wagged it in the air for punctuation. Looking intently at me, she slowly said, "You have to overlook a lot of things."

And you know what, IT'S TRUE!

[photo not of Mrs So And So]

1 comment:

Theresa said...

Very beautiful post. She is wise. someone I respect once said the key to a good marriage is knowing when to keep quiet.