Monday, September 10, 2012

Gus and Marge - A Love Story

This is a story of true love. A story of endurance. Of sticking by each other through good times and bad, and in sickness and in health, till death do them part.

This is the story of my parents.

Gus and Marge.

I wish I could ask my parents to fill in some of the missing pieces, but both of them are gone, and all our aunts and uncles are gone, too, except one.

I do know that my mother was introduced to my father through his sister, Josephine, who worked at the same factory as my mother. Josephine had said, "You have just got to meet my brother!"

The missing piece? What my mother felt when she first saw my father, and where they went on their first date.

Obviously they hit it off!

I think my father's family had a bit of a hard time accepting my mother. You see, my father was Italian, with dark hair and brown eyes.

My mother was Irish, and had blue eyes.

Blue eyes? Irish? Tsk, Tsk! Family members said the marriage would never last.

My parents proved them wrong. They were married 55 years; until my Dad died.

It was obvious that my parents loved each other; like I said, they were married for 55 years, AND they had 6 children. But what we, as children, seldom get a chance to see, is our parents in love.

I got that opportunity when I found this mystery box among all the boxes I was unpacking from the storage unit. It was filled with so many wonderful things (which I will write about in another post), but the most treasured item was a diary from 1940 - the year my parents got married.

My father began the journal and wrote in it until the middle of February. It was then passed to my Mother sometime and she began writing in April, the month they were married. She wrote in it faithfully every day. Can you imagine being able to look back into your parent's first year of marriage?

When I first stumbled upon the precious little book, I brought it up to my nose and inhaled the mustiness of the pages. Next I gently brushed my fingers across the written pages.

First where my Dad wrote, then where Mom wrote. Their hands had touched these very same pages - 72 years ago! My father was a mere 24 years of age - my mother was 21. It was so hard to picture them that young, especially since I have children older than that!

I don't know where my father worked at that time, because he ended up working as a carpenter for 40 years. But he probably started working  in a factory. My mother worked for Zenith, testing circuit boards. She told me a story once of how one day she received such an electric shock that it felt like someone had smacked her real hard between the shoulder blades. She looked over at the young guy sitting next to her and asked, "What did you do that for?" Meanwhile, the shock caused my mother's screwdriver to fly out of her hands and hit the back of her boss's head - who happened to be walking by! Sounds like an episode straight out of "I Love Lucy", doesn't it?



Wendy said...

Goodness, Pat!
What a Beautiful Treasure you've found! That is the sweetest thing.

Sooo happy for you!

Monkey Man said...

What a beautiful treasure...this would make a wonderful movie...cant wait to read more :)

Brian Miller said...

that is a very cool treasure....and how neat it would be to look in on that first year...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh Pat -- this is just wonderful. What a treasure. Makes it worthwhile (all the unpacking and stuff) to find this. Can't wait to read more.

Lynda said...

Oh Pat - - - what a wondrous treasure! All I found in my mother's stuff were some unlabeled pictures from her early years with my dad. We will all be looking forward to hearing about their lives together.

Valerie said...

How marvellous, Pat, this is a keepsake above all keepsakes. Loved reading the start of your story ... can't wait to read more. Incidentally, I think Irish and Italian go really well together.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Stories about happy marriages always make me smile. Thanks for this one--they sound charming.

Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog and have enjoyed visiting this a.m. What a gorgeous photo of your parents and what a long and happy marriage they had. I look forward to you sharing more about the diary. I know you treasure it. Enjoy the day. MIldred

Anonymous said...

Absolutely love this story. To find old diaries like this is just the most wonderful thing. Glad you are able to see your parents as more than just your mom and dad.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

what a wonderful, beautiful treasure you have found. as i'm traveling this path with my mom (the real possibility that she'll never recover is out there) i'm encouraged by your story of love between your parents. i know my parents had that kind of love, too and when my mom passes, she will be reunited (in spirit) with the love of her life... my father. what would have been their 63rd anniversary was this past saturday, the day she had the stroke.