As a child I had no real concept of marriage. It just appeared to be something everyone did. Although I saw my dad kiss my mom before he left for work, I thought that was something everyone did, just like on the TV shows. As I got older, my mom shared the stories of how they'd met and that my dad was jealous when they were dating if he heard she'd even talked with another man from her workplace. In my teenage years, as I became interested in boys, I still saw my mom and dad as parents, not as a man and woman in love.
When my father passed away at 79 years old after 50 years of marriage, my mom told me about a calendar she found in the basement. My dad had marked the days with a "WOW" in red every time they had a "party" (as he called it, according to mom). Those sweet , frequent notes on the calendar made me realize what I'd never really thought about...that my parents were madly, passionately in love until "death do us part." My mom misses him everyday.