My mother chose my husband. Thirty years later, I chose my daughter’s husband. No, these were not arranged marriages. They were simply the influences of a mother upon her daughter’s choice for a mate.
I met my husband, Terry, in seventh grade, and we started to “go steady” in eighth grade. His family moved down the road from my house while we were in high school so he became a regular visitor at my home. We were the typical all-American high school couple. He was an athlete; I was a cheerleader. He was blonde, blue-eyed, and always wore a smile. My mother came to adore him. She always greeted him warmly and made his favorite foods when he came to dinner.
Through the course of our high school years, Terry and I did, however, have our share of break-ups. We dated other people, but always remained friends. My mother never cared about the other boys I dated. She would hide behind the newspaper, or go to another room if my date came into the house. (Thankfully, my dad was more congenial.) I think my mom felt a sense of betrayal to Terry if she accepted or even acknowledged the other boys I dated. It was her quiet, yet potent way of communicating that Terry was the right guy for me. And she was right.
My mother was one wise lady. She knew intuitively that sweetheart of a boy would turn out to be a wonderful husband and father. She was able to see qualities in Terry that I, as a teenager, may have missed or taken for granted. Terry was kind, thoughtful and sincere. Most of all, he truly loved me and my family.
Mom passed away when our twins (Beth and Ben) were almost five years old. Terry and I had been married 12 years at that point. She knew that, as a couple, Terry and I had experienced some highs and lows, but she was able to see us prevail and conquer. Her greatest joys in life were her children, then her grandchildren.
Mom did not get to see her lovely granddaughter grow up, yet her guiding presence was still among us years later. I believe that it was her wisdom guiding me when my daughter, Beth, entered that serious stage of dating in college—but I’ll let her tell you about it.
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