By Tabasom Eblaghie
My name is “Marriage”. I was born the day your son or daughter, brother or sister, grandchild or best friend found the love of their life, and joined them on an eternal journey.
At first I was fragile.
Like a newly budding plant, I needed to be loved, cherished and nurtured.
My parched lips were drenched by the waters of your calm and kindly tongue.
I was set aglow with the light of your love.
I grew by your silence and non-judgmental attitude.
With gratitude in my heart and roots firmly grounded, I thank you now. For all the things you did. And didn’t do.
I thank you for knowing that I, Marriage, newly born, needed cheerleaders and supporters in order to thrive, grow and gain in strength.
I thank you for not interfering. You knew that life’s issues and challenges come and go, and you trusted my parents to deal with them all.
I thank you for never assuming you knew better. You had faith in my parents, and through your faith in them, their capacity to resolve and unravel life’s mysteries flourished.
I thank you for never using hostile humour and sarcasm towards my parents. For knowing that words cut deep and that your unkind words cut the very foundation I stand upon. Your jokes were kind, never ostracizing a single soul.
I thank you for not criticizing. For not criticizing my mother’s weight, job and habits, or my father’s wardrobe, education and attempts to please you. Your encouragement made my branches stronger, stretching towards the sun. With no reserve.
I thank you for not feigning friendship for your own personal gain. For knowing when to step back and allow my parents to work things through together, rather than forming a wedge between them. Or casting doubt on their character.
I thank you for including both of my parents in your conversations. For not excluding your son/daughter/sister/brother-in-law from your life’s events, stories and comments. For looking them in the eye, and loving them with your words, your tone of voice, and your smile.
I thank you for not backbiting behind one of my parents in their absence. The echo of your thoughts last for years to come. Your wisdom in knowing they leave deep cuts in my trunk, killing me slowly, is acknowledged and deeply honoured.
Because of you, I am strong. I grew in an environment where hostility was not allowed, and my roots surged forward into the earth.
Because of you, the children that followed my steps, were given an example of what it was like to truly love. In a comfortable environment.
Because of you, the house is filled with laughter. Safety abounds.
I bow down to you.