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Teaching Love By Example

On April 12, 1969, my father John Michael Scurio Sr. and mother Phyllis Irene Ferdinand were wed at St. Ann's Church in Somerville, Massachusetts.

At the time, I was a "twinkle in your Mother's eye" as my Dad would say and I came along (swiftly nine months later) on January 18, 1970 as their first born - John-Michael Scurio, Jr.

Having graduated college, I, John-Michael, Jr. moved away from Massachusetts in the early 1990s, and a lot of time has passed. Much of this time, I pursued a career in cruise ship travel, and I found myself living in other States and on the high seas. All this said, I cannot begin, for a moment, to write anything about my parents' love and marriage as if I actually know what I am talking about. I haven't been around them daily for over 25 years.

What I will attempt to convey is that they, by their very example, were my very first teachers, my first examples of love and marriage and what that has meant for me and my life journey.

Parents teach their children
Mr. & Mrs. John M. Scurio, Sr - on their wedding day, April 12, 1969

I'm sure to some degree, I subconsciously took it all in, processed it and made sense of it to the best of my teenage ability, because when I attempt to think back on it all now, things are foggy for me. I mean there was MTV and Proms and Swim Club and Drama Club and all of my friends. My focus was just all over the place.

I do recall that back in the 1980s, it seemed that every week, I'd arrive to school and learn from one of my friends that another student's parents were getting divorced. As I write this even now, I do recall that it did seem like a divorce epidemic was happening far and wide back then in the 80's.

I think this was when I started to pay attention to my parent's marriage a little bit more.

I don't know what the magic secret sauce is in the recipe for 50 years of marriage together, all I know is that together, they stayed steadfast, they endeavored to persevere, they raised three sons and ...

they just arrived at their Golden Anniversary after saying, "I do" fifty years ago on April 12th.

Psychologist Arthur Aron states that in practice, "we choose partners with roughly the same levels of education, IQ, family wealth, and looks. We even favor mates with similar genes for height and weight. But this is simply Mr. Aron's opinion, of course. We are brought into another person's life to love, boost harmony and enrich life.

Chris Portman, PhD

Chris Portman, a psychologist in Bellingham, WA works with couples. He says, over time, "All duos have conflict, troubles and disagreements that can't be completely resolved but happy couples keep humor and affection flowing, even making small loving gestures and jokes even in the midst of battle.

Loving gestures. Affection. Jokes (lots of jokes.) Humor. Fun.

I recall there was a lot of that with my parents over the years. (even still!) Maybe this has something to do with their union and longevity. They certainly show love and affection and they do enjoy most everything together. It's really no wonder that they now celebrate 50.

Love is a journey. It's a huge part of life. It's really why we're here in these physical bodies on Earth. We are non-physical souls in physical bodies sent to experience love. We are all connected. It is what we should be focused on most over the course of the journey. It's how we should lead each day and it guides our emotions when it comes to decision making, choices, direction, and leadership.

My wonderful parents, like all parents, made so many choices and decisions fostering their marriage and raising three sons over the years. The most evident factor that drove all of those years favorably forward for my parents and our family was love ... and, as one would expect, this continues to be the case today.

I am who I am because of their love.

Happy Golden Anniversary to my wonderful parents.

Thank you for teaching us about love.


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