It took courage for my parents to marry each other. Or, to be more specific, it took courage for them to become part of each other’s families.
Grandma Druchunas was worried because Mom was Jewish. Is that why Mom converted? “If you’re interested in religion, why don’t you follow your own?” Grandpa Tolen asked her. “If it’s so important to you, why didn’t you teach it to me?” was her retort.
Or maybe it was about the food. Would Mom go to midnight mass and eat ham for Christmas? Would dad enjoy kasha stuffing and corn fritters on Thanksgiving? Would the children be raised on kielbasa or gefilte fish? Would spring be celebrated with chocolate rabbits and yellow marshmallow peeps or with matzoh and bitter herbs? Would bread be buttered or smothered in schmaltz?
My grandparents knew there were so many more issues, so many dark secrets swept under the carpet–back in the old country–so much history of which my parents were blissfully ignorant.