My parents’ marriage to each other was short. Married in 1986, they separated 6 months after I was born and were officially divorced by the time I was 2 years old (circa 1990). They have both been remarried and seem to have finally found happiness with the person they are with right now.
Most children grow up hearing stories of how their parents met, anecdotes of late night adventures, and bad days turned good (or at least that’s what I imagine). While I heard many stories about myself and other family members, I never knew much about my parents’ relationship, despite knowing each parent well.
In the days leading up to my own wedding, I learned bits and pieces about my parents. This weekend I learned more. While it hasn’t all been roses, it made me think about how much I really know about my family and their lives. I longed for the days I missed with grandparents already gone and it opened my ears to more stories from those older than me; to learn about how the world use to be.
My dad’s father was a World War II veteran who passed away when I was about 8. I was too young to understand the importance of stories of days past. This weekend, I would have loved to hear his stories of the war. I was always told that he shot guns off of the USS Lexington, which is now a museum in Corpus Christi. I knew he liked milk and that his favorite candy was butterscotch. By the time I was old enough to converse, he had a motorcycle accident and had difficulty doing much. Whether just his personality or life events, my grandfather was not the type to just open up, making it difficult for me to connect with him as a kid.
It’s interesting to learn things about family members. Some things are funny, interesting, and surprising. Some things come out of left field and hit you square in the face. Part of me wants to know what really happened between my parents. What could I learn from their mistakes? I worry though, that if I really knew, it could change my relationship with each of them. It’s taken a long time to get to the point I am with my mom and dad; do I really want to take a risk on that changing?