A couple of weeks ago, we all hightailed it down to San Diego one Friday afternoon after our girls got out of school. The occasion? My parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Mom and Dad had been planning this for months. A special mass and reception afterward. 50 years. Together. Theirs is a marriage of equals, of best friends, of mutual respect, of unconditional love and unbridled laughter. Lots of laughter. Some people wonder why I’m always smiling and quick to laugh. Apply that saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” here. It’s not hard to understand where I get it from once you meet my parents.
Oh, they’ve had their hard times. Dad was in the Navy when we were young and Mom was left to keep the household running, working as a nurse, and tending to three young children (that’s my two brothers and me) alone for months at a time. I have only two children and I sorely miss my husband when he’s on a business trip for more than 2 days. But we managed. I know that Mom was really sad when we talked to Dad on the phone after he’d been at sea for a while. As we got older, Dad was able to choose commissions that kept him at home and not at sea. Like any young couple, I remember disagreements here and there but there was always this united front when it came to us kids. And laughter. Lots of it.
It’s been many years since I lived at home. I went away to college and ended up working and living in that area. My brothers and I have our own families, homes and lives. Each year, the holidays bring us back together. Even though we don’t see each other that often, there’s always a strong sense of family when we’re there. It’s what my parents created years ago. It’s a gift they gave each of us kids though we didn’t realize it then. And now they’re growing old together, enjoying each other’s company, visiting with old friends, singing in church, looking forward to visits with kids and grandkids. And laughing. Always laughing.
After a few portraits in the picturesque gardens of the hotel where the reception was held, we enjoyed a wonderful show of dancers performing traditional folk dances from the Philippines. It was such a treat. I had never seen these dances live and my father thought that many of their friends had likely not seen such performances for many, many years.
More to come…stay tuned….