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What Does Real Love Look Like?

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1947: 4 cents for a daily newspaper. Three cans of Campbell's soup for 29 cents. Rice Krispies, 12 cents a box; chicken 47 cents and pound; coffee 38 cents a pound. No TV - just radio. No E-Bay or Google. No cell phones, answering machine or fax. Neither voice mail nor e-mail No Wal-Mart, no Starbucks, no malls. 60 years. World War Two, just ended. Still to come - moon landings, civil rights, feminism, hippies, Woodstock, gay rights, cloning, test tube babies, vaccines and open heart surgery, the Beatles, 24 hour news, reality shows...

They were two ordinary people who met at a dance in the fall and were married the following spring. They were a bit unusual right from the start - they waited 5 years before they had their first child, and they never resorted to spanking. I watched them grow up and grow together. They adapted to whatever life brought them - shifted roles and responsibilities when circumstances dictated. Both high school graduates, they continually pursued their mutual curiosity and love of learning about music, culture and history, and nurtured that enthusiasm in their kids.

They set a quiet example of generosity, service and loyalty to friends, family, customers, colleagues and community. Wrestling with normal human frailties, there was always the underlying commitment to and appreciation for each other. Our home was filled with music, laughter, and good conversation. They encouraged us to be individuals -- and even when they didn't like what we might be doing at the time, they made sure to say that they always loved US.

Today is my parent's 60th Anniversary. My Mom marked the occasion alone -- although they were together, Dad no longer recognizes her. I do believe, though, that, somehow, he knows her. He may not be able to grasp the concept that she's his wife, but within the deep connection of two souls that have been intertwined most of their lives, she feels familiar to him. He responds to the tenderness with which she feeds him, the familiar way she strokes his hair back from his face, the sound of her voice when she says his name. The expression on her face when she presses her forehead to his at the end of their visit is pure love and utter devotion. It's a sacred moment I am privileged to share.

Here's to Morty and Estelle. I am in awe of their accomplishments.

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.
-- Amy Bloom

There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.
-- Homer

Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up.
-- Joseph Barth

My husband and I have never considered divorce... murder sometimes, but never divorce.
-- Joyce Brothers

Only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. One is to let her think she is having her own way, the other, to let her have it.
-- Lyndon B. Johnson

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
-- Mignon McLaughlin

The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.
-- Robert C. Dodds

Marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
-- Samuel Johnson

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.
That is what makes a marriage last --more than passion or even sex!
-- Simone Signoret

I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.
-- Rita Rudner

This is a reprint of the June 28, 2007 issue of Nancy Gerber's weekly e-zine, "Thoughts For A Thursday", published weekly since February 15, 2001. Subscribe at http://www.sstones.com/newsletter.shtml

For over 30 years Nancy Gerber, “YOUR Connection Magician”, has coached and educated thousands of people worldwide on how to improve their communication and deepen their relationships with others -- and themselves. Nancy specializes in showing us how, in this age of increasingly impersonal electronic communication, we can IMMEDIATELY deepen our human connections and build more successful relationships with ourselves, the people around us and our larger community. Sign up for Nancy’s popular FREE e-zine Thoughts For A Thursday (which has been published weekly since February 2001). Learn more about her learning tools, programs and services at http://www.sstones.com

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Nancy Gerber
Communication & Relationships
nancy@sstones.com
Nancy Gerber's web site

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