The New York Times highlighted the tragedy that followed a father’s death. The author’s parents lived and loved and raised a family and never married for 30 years. The family discovered what all that meant when the formal military burial was held: daughter, not life’s soulmate, mattered.
Cora Daniels writes (excerpt):
Every time I signed another document, it felt as if I were further erasing my mom’s role in my dad’s life. Or at least helping society to.
My mom, my brother and I rode home from the funeral in silence. In a room full of friends and family who had gathered at the house, my mom whispered to me that her only regret was that she never married my dad. If she had it to do over again, she would have. We hadn’t spoken about the fact that they weren’t married since that day after school when I was 11.
My mother’s remorse is much larger than flags or funerals. I understand that now. She had believed the world could see the love and commitment that she and my dad shared. But what she didn’t grasp sooner is that when you are lucky enough to find a love as strong as she found, you show it off to the world proudly. Because in the end, regretfully, the world couldn’t see what they shared. Now, when I look at my wedding band, I can’t help thinking of my parents and what they gave up because they thought their hearts were all that mattered.