What is the secret to longevity in a marriage?
If you ask Clara Parrish of Lake Wylie, she will tell you that first, you need to love each other and keep the love growing; and second, that you need to have a strong faith in God and church.
One would be wise to follow her advice. She and her husband, Mickey, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary earlier this month on Nov. 12.
“We got married after only seven months of dating. We knew right away,” Clara said. “I was 22, and he was 19. I raised him well!”
The two met when Clara decided to attend a Bethel Methodist Church service with a friend.
“Our first date was when Mickey offered to walk me home from a Sunday school party we both attended,” Clara explained. “From that day on, we saw each other every day. Mickey would take me wherever I wanted to go; because in those days, I did not have a driver’s license.”
Some of those drives were to a ballgame where Mickey was teaching women’s softball to Clara’s team, and some were to church. However, often the drives were for leisure on Mickey’s motorcycle.
“We loved riding that motorcycle,” Clara said. “We’d ride with friends to church on Sunday morning, then ride around all afternoon, and ride back to church for the evening service before finally going home.”
During the past four years, Clara has dealt with health problems. Her care and strength come from her husband, she says.
“He’s a wonderful husband,” Clara gushes. “He’s been taking care of me and has completely fulfilled his part of being a husband.”
For their anniversary, Clara and Mickey’s children – Peggy Parrish and husband, Stephen Fox, and Laddy Parrish and wife, Wanda – surprised them with a trip to Jekyll Island, Ga.
“We’re excited to be celebrating our wedding anniversary in such a lovely area,” Clara said. “But mostly, we will be celebrating the beautiful legacy we have built through our family: two children, two grandchildren and one great grandchild – the apple of our eyes.”
Wendy Dimitri of Lake Wylie is a freelancer writer. Email neighbors column ideas to news@lakewyliepilot.