On June 21, 1952 my grandparents were married in sunny San Diego. 65 years and 8 kids later, they might just be the sweetest couple to ever reside in our glorious city. If you don’t believe me, just look for them strolling around hand in hand at the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park, which are still some of their favorite places to be in the city. They are honestly two of the most generous, selfless and kind people you will ever meet and they agreed to share some of the wisdom they have learned on their marriage and parenting journeys with all of us.
Of course the one question that everyone wants to know, what is your best marriage advice? How have you stayed happily married for 65 years?
Stick to your marriage vows and refer back to them often. Your vows do not say “until things get bad or hard”, your vows are forever. There is going to be a “better” and a “worse”, that’s how life goes. We read a book called Three to Get Married before we got married and it was the foundation of our marriage. We always kept God in our relationship.
I am sure in 65 years you have had plenty of tough times and rough moments. What was one of the biggest struggles in your marriage?
Definitely money. We never disagreed on how to spend it, but there were a lot of times we didn’t have enough. Grandpa: I remember turning down an invitation to grab a cup of coffee after work because I didn’t have an extra dime to spare. Grandma: He also had to travel a lot for work and that was tough with young kids at home. There were times where he would be gone for weeks at a time.
I know in 65 years of marriage you probably have so many wonderful memories, but what is one of your favorite memories?
Our wedding day was a very special day. We really enjoyed ourselves. Also the births of all of our children were very important days to us.
Speaking of kids, you raised 8 of them! What is your best parenting advice?
Never give up on your kids. Make sure that they know you have faith in them always and that you love them. This won’t always be easy because they are going to make bad decisions. If it was that easy, a computer could do it! Also set rules and be consistent. Try and save punishment for the serious issues. Don’t give them too much freedom before they are ready to handle the responsibility.
Raising kids is definitely not for the faint of heart! What were some of your biggest struggles as parents?
It was very difficult to raise kids in a different era than we were raised in. When we were growing up, kids just did what their parents said and everyone had similar values. However, it was different when we became parents. Our kids faced a lot of societal influence. It was hard to compete with that. It seems to only get worse with time and we can’t imagine the struggles new parents face today.
Your kids have now grown and are parents themselves, some even grandparents. What lessons were most important to pass along to your kids?
First and foremost, we wanted all of our kids to have faith in God. We also always wanted them to know we loved them and were willing to help them in any way. Our grandparents helped our parents when we were growing up and then our parents helped us when we had kids. We wanted to make sure that our kids always knew we were there to help them. Growing up in the Great Depression, we really didn’t have much, but whatever we had we always shared. We hope our kids are always generous and kind with others.
I am sure having 8 kids was an incredible adventure. What are some of your favorite memories from raising your 8 children?
There is nothing better than watching your children achieve milestones. We can still picture the big grins on their baby faces when they learned to walk.
What are you most proud of in your life?
Our family. We are proud parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and now great-great-grandparents.
Congratulations to my grandparents on 65 years of marriage! Thank you for letting me share your story and your wisdom with the world.