I always wondered how Dad put up with Mum’s perpetual lateness (and why he married her when he hates being late) … and when I found out by chance, it changed my life.
It was a Saturday afternoon; I was running late to meet a friend (as usual) so Dad offered to drop me off. Ever thankful, I dashed into the car while he calmly started the car and got onto the road.
As he lamented and questioned why all his kids inherited Mum’s trait of being late and zilch of his love for punctuality, it made me pause.
“Dad,” I asked slowly, “You get mad whenever mum is late. So what made you choose to marry her despite knowing that she will always be late when you absolutely abhor lateness?”
He stared ahead at the road, and then answered quietly, “Because I love your mother more than I love being punctual.”
That one quiet sentence changed my life; it reframed my perspective of love and marriage, and I never looked at love and marriage (or at them) the same way ever again.
Out of curiosity, I asked Mum why she married Dad.
“Because he loves me for who I am. You can see how much your Dad loves me, right? I knew he loved me and would be a good father to the children. Sweetheart, you need to marry a man who loves you as you are, a man who will put you (and the children) first, giving his all to take care of you.”
Speechless. I couldn’t say more.
Tears welling up in my eyes, I squeaked out some excuse about needing the toilet and ran there to have a good cry.
My parents have always told me to look out for a good man, and so on … but nothing could have spoken to me more than their life example. The way Dad loves Mum (and all of us, to be honest) is a real inspiration.
Truth be told, Dad telling me why he married Mum is one of the most precious memories that I have of my time with him. And when my kids ask how I decided to marry their father, I’ll tell them this:
“When your Grandpa told me why he loved Grandma, and how I should choose my future husband… that’s how I decided.”
And then I’ll share with them this same story in the hopes that they will learn the greatest lesson of all: that loving someone is about loving them beyond their flaws and weaknesses.
This guest post comes courtesy of Xin W., a happily married post-graduate student.