My father and I were folding laundry, the piles were up to our knees.
It had been a particularly rough week in our house. There were six of us after all and my mother and he had been fighting about something. I can’t remember what, most likely something to do with the logistics of raising six humans. Should Eliot really go off to soccer practice in Marietta or should he stay at the camp in Athens? Or, should the girls really go to that party at so and so’s house whose parents may or may not be home?
My parents had a very unique relationship. Unlike parents I witnessed at my friends’ houses, my parents would often be spotted kissing in the kitchen while preparing dinner and they would stay up late into the night talking. Not fighting or arguing, but deep in conversation, passionate conversation about their work, life, us kids, and each other. They didn’t waste time with things, like television. They were in love, yes, but they were also best friends.
When my father died, part of my mother died with him.
In this moment, buried in the laundry, I felt struck to ask him a bold question.
“How do you do it, Dad? How do you still love Mom so much after all of these years? Even on days like this.”
It only took him a moment to answer, “I always knew, even though my parents had gone through a terrible divorce, that I would find the love of my life some day and that I would be madly in love with her. I believed in love.” He paused and kept folding and then added, “and so did your mother. Look at her family. Divorce, horrible, horrible things but she still believed. We both believed. And then we found each other.”
It made complete sense to me, they believed in love. More importantly, they believed in their relationship. The believing being the key. Because nothing can existing without a belief that it exists. Especially love.
Belief in motion. My parents stepping outside of a hotel after their wedding.