*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.
He fathered children with both of them.
In the early 1960s, my father married two women over the course of a single calendar year. His first marriage lasted only a matter of months. Following a quick divorce, he married his second choice.
His second choice was my mother.
At the time of his divorce from his first wife, my father didn't know she was pregnant. I don't think it would have made a difference even if he had known. She was the one who left him, and she never looked back.
My mother was all too happy to rush into marriage with my father once he regained his single status. They conceived almost immediately, and that's how my father ended up not only marrying twice within a year but also having a child with two different women during the same time period.
While my father's first marriage lasted only a few short months, his second marriage has endured more than half a century.
As you might guess, the relationship dynamics were complicated.
I can't imagine how my parents could have ever managed their finances, because there were so many overlapping debts and responsibilities. I don't think my father saw that, though. My father had a certain view of the world and his role within it. When he married my mother, they became a team.
They say that when you get older, time speeds up. As I've gotten older myself, the years have gone by faster and faster until all of a sudden, just recently, it occurred to me that my parents will soon celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary.
I use the word celebrate loosely. My parents have never celebrated an anniversary. There have been no anniversary parties, no flowers, no balloons, and not even a single anniversary card.
They don't celebrate the years; they just live them.
Now, you'll rarely find them over five feet apart. That's the exact distance between their recliners where they watch television, their chairs at the kitchen table, or their rocking chairs on the porch. They even sleep five feet apart in separate beds in the same master bedroom.
They also love to bicker back and forth like two old hens clucking over breadcrumbs, but it's all in good fun, of course. Everyone knows that when push comes to shove, both will be there for each other with open arms and an open heart. After all, against all odds, they got through over sixty years of life together without killing each other...
The question is... how?
It's the same as it ever was. Even though they're retired now, my parents still do many things together. My mom still tells my dad he looks handsome in his suit, and my dad still gets mad about having to wear a tie on special occasions.
I'm very lucky to have such an amazing couple as role models for marriage. The road hasn't always been easy, but they always reached their destination together.