Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Parents, by Maria Zeeman

One day in class I asked the question, “How did your parents meet?” This was Maria’s answer. The rest, as they say, is history.
The year was 1920.

They were 19 years, best girl friends, having fun walking and flirting with the sailors on the quay in Amsterdam. All three girls worked for the telephone company and felt pretty special. They were high school graduates,(which was special because at that time that was mainly for the boys) and they had a pretty good and fun job.

My mom told us that she saw this handsome, sturdy sailor with deep brown eyes and a lusty laugh. He came closer; they talked, looked into each other eyes and were in a world of their own. The girls laughed and teased them - “Don’t be too serious Maria, he’s just a sailor.”

My mom came from a well to do family. They lived in the city. My dad’s father was a traveling salesman; his mother was a fisherman’s daughter with little education, living in a small village. They sent my dad to work on the ships at age 13. So he was tough. My mom was still innocent, but they got married within a year of that day in July 1920. They loved each other, and they wanted many children (they got 8). They always showed us how important it is to love, trust, and respect each other through thick and thin. Each Mother’s Day he gave her a BIG bouquet of flowers and always said “thank you for giving me so many children. I love you.”

It sure helped us to go through some very difficult times. I consider myself lucky that I was granted the parents I had.


  1. We don't get to choose our parents, but our parents can sure choose to love us. I think this should be shared as a headliner Mother's Day story. Your mother deserves to be praised. You are blessed and a blessing to us!

  2. What a colorful whirl wind romance, producing many lucky and loving children.

  3. A fascinating story. I would love to hear more details (although I realize that parents don't always tell us the details. Your parents were very lucky to have found each other.

  4. From Charlotte ~

    What a delight to read about these two sweet people. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love it that most young people of your parent's generation were devoted to one another for life time. Love was the theme of your parent's relationship and the result was a house full of love. I know you must be proud to come from such a warm loving family.