He was 26.
She was 24.
They had just married.
A bride would expect the new home all to the two of them, to start a new beginning, to get to know each other, give into some fantasies and above all cherish the privacy that a newly-wed needed.
She walked into a home with 7 kids.
The man “inherited” the 7 kids from his two sisters who had died rather prematurely, both widows when they died.
It was not a marriage in the conventional sense, it was more a financial arrangement to augment the income to feed the hungry mouths.
He could have walked away from the problem, disowned the “inheritance”, the kids could have been left to the mercies of the circumstances.
He did not.
She could have chosen
- Not to enter such a marriage
- Or after marrying, poisoned his mind and threw the kids away.
- Or, could have ill-treated them.
The 7 kids would have all lost their faith in humanity and not realised the meaning of the word humility.
She did not do that either.
Together they gave the kids life and love and purpose.
In between they found time to have 4 kids of their own, undaunted by the additional responsibility, or probably emboldened with the practice of bringing up the seven.
Together they felt their hearts swell with pride as one kid after the other grew up, took root, made a life of their own.
Together they withstood the calamity of losing their fourth kid to meningitis, then still un-treatable.
Together they grew old, witnessing the perfect 10 grow up and become independent.
Each one gaining independence meant a reduction on their purse strings and the responsibility.
Must have been a relief, but they started to feel “incomplete” as if an integral part of them drifted away.
This man and his wife are responsible for the life of about 60 people today.
He left behind no fortune, no assets when he died.
But the combined wealth of these 60 people and their very existence is priceless.
She commands affection and respect that no money can buy.
And the two of them never once shouted in their life, never raised their voice, never disrespected another soul.
He was my father.
She is my mother.
You do not need YouTube searches or TED talks for inspiration.
Am certain each one of us have similar stories.
Look. Learn. Live.