My parents got married on June 24, 1972.
Susan and Cary tied the knot at the Boston Sheraton as the Northeast got pummeled by
the remnants of Hurricane Agnes.
They met at Charlotte High School, where my father taught math and my mother was a
contract substitute. He grew up in Fairport and went to Bucknell University. She grew
up in Newton, Massachusetts and went to the University of Rochester. He was
Protestant. She was Jewish. He was a Republican. She was a Democrat. She was 22.
He was 28.
Their fathers both died young. Their mothers were Ruth and Dorothy. (Doesn’t every
baby boomer have a mother named Ruth or Dorothy?)
They moved to Seneca Parkway in 1978 and still live there. A big house with a big pool
and a big dog.
They had two redheaded children. I came a few hours after the nation celebrated its bicentennial. My brother, Jason, came on their 6th anniversary. Mom wanted her children to be Jewish, but we weren’t religious. We always celebrated Christmas for Dad’s mother, since we were her only family in town. Dad and I would always race through Midtown Plaza on Christmas Eve to buy presents for Mom.
Mom became a guidance counselor. Dad became a dean of students. They sent their kids to city schools in the same way Kodak workers bought Kodak cameras and GM workers bought GM cars.
Dad is a tech nerd who rigs up the house with gadgets. Sometimes I can’t ﬁgure out how to turn on the lights in the kitchen. He loves home theaters and had laser discs and a 6-foot screen in 1980. He and mom now watch stuff on a 3D set. I don’t know how to turn on the TV, either.
Mom is very open and honest. She says things we don’t want to hear. I could tell her anything and know she’ll be supportive. There’s no bigger advocate for her kids. She never stops saying “I love you.”
No marriage is perfect. I only remember one bad ﬁght when I was really young. I
decided to run messages between my mom on the second ﬂoor and my dad in the
basement until they made up. Over the years, there were disagreements about kids and
money, but I never once thought their marriage was in trouble.
Dad was so supportive of Mom when she had breast cancer – both times. Mom treated
Dad’s mother like she was her own. Dad took care of Mom’s mother when she suffered
from Alzheimer’s and came to live with them.
I don’t know the secret to their successful marriage. My parents are independent. They
each have their own interests. They still enjoy each other’s company. They love their getaways. They love each other and their children.
Mom has often said, “You marry the person you’re in love with at the time you’re ready to get married.” She stresses you must be in love and want and value the same things.
Happy Anniversary! I love you.