The Hand-Holders

February 9, 2009 | 17 comments

I love this photo. The dateless boys at the high school dance are sitting on hay bales. The guy on the far left appears to be getting up the nerve to ask someone if she would be interested in a slow dance.

And there’s a lone couple on the dance floor: my parents.

They were high school sweethearts. Mom was a 5’2″ clarinet-playing cheerleader with a bubbly personality. Dad was a star on the Diagonal, Iowa, High School Maroons basketball team and a self-professed nerd.

They fell in love back when gas cost 25 cents a gallon, the Everly Brothers were a sensation and the Hula Hoop was invented.

That was 50 years ago.

A few days from now, lovebirds will celebrate Valentine’s Day with chocolates and diamond pendants and promises of forever love.

Mom and Dad will celebrate their 50th Valentine’s Day as a married couple.

Makes you sort of rethink commitment, doesn’t it?

And here’s the coolest part. When I look at that old photo from the Autumn Dance, I can’t help but notice how some things haven’t changed a bit. Over the years, the physical space between the two dancers hasn’t widened a bit.

My siblings and I like to tease Mom and Dad; we call them “hand holders.” It’s hard to find a photo where Dad isn’t throwing his arm around his soul mate, pulling her in closer, holding her hand.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mom and Dad. Thank you for your example of love.

… the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

This post is a tribute to my parents, and is a part of Robert Hruzek’s What I Learned From … Love groupwrite project.

by | February 9, 2009 | 17 comments


  1. Robert Hruzek

    It’s wonderful to have a set of parents who model the love we need so much!

    Congratulations to them!

    Hat tip for the WILF entry, Jennifer!

  2. Chris Godfredsen

    Wonderful examples of love marriage are your parents.

    50 Valentine’s Days – pretty amazing.

    Blessings to them, and may the flow down to you and all of yours.

  3. Chris Godfredsen

    Wonderful examples of love marriage are your parents.

    50 Valentine’s Days – pretty amazing.

    Blessings to them, and may the flow down to you and all of yours.

  4. Darlene

    Beautiful tribute. I love the pictures, and the literal closeness that you shared.

  5. Chrissy

    I love it. What a great story! Robert and I are going to be that couple in 50 years 🙂 We’ve got 6 under our belt and the love isn’t waivering a bit.

  6. isumom

    I have seen that example in real life…and I am happy to say my parents share the same. Watching our parents is a prime example of what love and marriage should be…and in another 29 years Dan and I will be there, giving the example to our own kids.

  7. mom2six

    I love this – words and photos! What encouragement to see how love should be modeled over a long period of time. Happy Anniversary to them!

  8. pamela

    It is wonderful to see after 50 years they are still so in love. I love the pictures.

  9. janelle

    What a wonderful legacy!

    Happy anniversary Phillip & Mama D!

  10. Julie

    Great post! We just had a surprise anniversary/birthday party this weekend for my parents…they celebrated 40 years of marriage and later this month my father turns 80. They have been the perfect example of love to me. Not only for each other but for God.

    Congrats to your family for celebrating such a special occasion!


  11. Nikki B.

    Such an inspiration to commitment! My husband and I will be going 10 Valentine’s Days and counting! Loving every moment of dancing through this life together 🙂

  12. Carol

    My parents struggled all my life with my Dad’s addiction to alcohol, but I have vivid memories of the good times, the hand holding, the little pat on the rear, and after their nearly 50 years, they are both in heaven for eternity. What a great promise! Your parents are so sweet and so are you! Love, Carol

  13. Aundria B.

    My parents will be that couple next year when they celebrate their 50th, and they’re still very affectionate and playful with one another. Even today they’re still learning new things about one another and working on their relationship.

    It’s encouraging to know that there are other couples out there still holding hands after so many years.

  14. grandma F

    What date were your parents married, Jennifer? Abe and I will have 50 years on 2-17-2010 and I feel we are good for another 50. Bonnie Falkena

  15. God's Not Finished With Us Yet...

    Jennifer, my apologies for not keeping up with you. My time online is short so I do it mainly during midnight hours, when I’m exhausted. God has been sharing things with me about priorities and my sister’s first Bible Study, which of course I love to support. We are reading one of Max Ludaco’s books and it’ great. I love the photo and your parents testimony of genuine love. Wow, 25 cent gas, couldn’t just be that way now. I’m so sorry again about Mr. Paul. Blessings to all of you.

  16. Carey

    Ah, Jen…can’t decide which picture I like best, the old or the new. Happy Valentines Day!

  17. The Hohensee's

    Love it, Love it, Love it!!!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest