Sixty-five years ago, my parents met on a blind date, but God’s eyes were wide open as he visualized his plan for their lives.
Mom and Dad grew up in neighboring small towns in central Pennsylvania. Both were raised in large families with strong Catholic faith, and the common bond of their upbringing solidified their attraction to one another. Mom was a student at a small Catholic college. Dad had joined the Army and was stationed in Germany, so their relationship developed through letters.
Certain of their love, they were united in the sacrament of matrimony in Mom’s neighborhood church. God became their partner in marriage from that day forward.
I was born ten months after their wedding day and, during the next thirteen years, seven more children joined our family. Our parents instilled in us a love of God and his church not only through their words, but through their actions. We said our meal prayers and night prayers together, prayed the Rosary together and attended Sunday Mass as a family every week.
The overwhelming task of raising such a large family did not prevent Mom and Dad from nurturing their love for one another. I have witnessed their mutual respect and selfless acts of service throughout my entire life. They have always placed a high priority on togetherness, and only in times of hospitalization have they been separated. Mom and Dad endured many hardships and challenges, but their commitment to God, marriage and family never wavered. God blessed them abundantly with 24 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
On the birth of my first child, Mom advised me to always remember that my husband was the one whom I had loved first. She gave each of my siblings the same words of wisdom. I realized that we had never felt loved any less because of the love that Mom and Dad had for one another.
My amazing parents exemplify God’s plan for holy matrimony. I am so proud and blessed to be their daughter.
By Karen Botte