Earlier this year, on a cold day in late January, I received a call from a Telemetry Unit Nurse who works at the Southern Illinois hospital where I trained to become an R.N.

She called to tell me that both my mother and my father had been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. My parents are 74 and 85  years of age, and have other health issues, so this news was upsetting, to say the least.

After the initial alarms inside my head quieted down, I realized, these two, true to form, are still doing practically everything together. They always have.

After they first met, they took Dad’s 24 foot cabin cruiser out deep sea fishing, together.

They shared with us their love of music, Dad playing his guitar, and harmonicas, while Mama sang for us, together.

Dad bought a motorcycle and they rode together…and it wasn’t long before he bought Mama one of her own…so they could ride, side by side, together. They chose to dig up their roots, and move us 1000 miles from our initial home, to provide us with a better life, and they did this, together.

They served in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and maneuvered the waters of the Illinois River in a houseboat they bought with savings from their mutual jobs, and overtime, together. They closed up our home during the summers when we were out of school and moved us all to the boat club, together. Even the simple everyday chores….grocery shopping, gardening, cooking, yard work, house-cleaning, have always been accomplished, together.

They’ve cared for aging parents and siblings and brought them to live with us when it was time. They cared for me, when I returned home on more than one occasion, and they cared for my daughter, whose first nursery was at her Grannie and Papa’s house…and together, they taught me that it might not take a village, but it does indeed take a Family to provide for each other in times of need.

In February 2013, my Mother and the man who became my Dad, will celebrate 40 years of togetherness as man and wife, bringing stability and love to our blended family. I am grateful every single day for all the experiences, good and bad, that brought them together. I am grateful eternally for the strength of character, commitment and love that kept them together, and brought us together as a family. Now, I’m praying they get well together.  Soon.

Whither Thou goest I will go

 Wherever Thou lodgest I will lodge

 Thy people shall be my people my love

 Whither Thou goest I will go

 For as in that story long ago

 That same sweet love story now is so

 Thy people shall be my people my love

 Whither Thou goest I will go   ~The Book of Ruth


p.s. After my daughter and I went to stay with them for a week, they began to get their strength back….this photo is of them in their back yard in August, 2012, enjoying early morning coffee….Together. 🙂