Thursday, 15 December 2011

50 Years and Counting.....

I have really struggled with the writing of this post. It shouldn't have been all that difficult. I mean, really! How many couples do you know that have managed to make the 50 year anniversary line, and how many of those are actually related to you? My parents will be celebrating this auspicious milestone this coming Saturday and since we won't actually be in the same city until Sunday, I really wanted to recognize the day in print. But the writing gods have been tremendously unkind and have afflicted me with a block at the exact moment when eloquence is desperately required. You see...I felt that I needed a hook, a literary device to express exactly what I am feeling and to hopefully make the post more interesting to you the readers. Maybe a bit of satire or comedy? But then I realized that this nonsense was horseshit. What really matters isn't the flowery language in which I couch my emotions. It is the occasion itself.

There will be ample celebratory moments for our family over the next couple of weeks as we all arrive in the Southern Home to fete Mom and Dad, but the actual day is being planned as a low-key affair. When I asked how they planned to spend Saturday, my mother answered in typically understated fashion "I am thinking chicken wings, pizza, and maybe The Big Bang Theory on Tivo." When The Little Bro and The Ying to his Yang put together an invitation for a small party being thrown down here, they used my parents wedding picture as part of the design. My mother strenuously objected. Not just because she loathes their wedding picture (too long a story for this post, believe me!) but she really wanted to keep the occasion light, fun, and devoid of mush. My sister-in-law always the artist and ever the smartass, replaced the photo with this:

My mother loved it. It was exactly in keeping with how she and Dad want to celebrate.

My parents are not the centre of attention sorts. (Ok! Dad is-but he shares this particular centre with Mom.) They don't want speechifying or toasts. They aren't into slideshows or big parties, and most of all the dictum came down from on high that "there are to be absolutely no syrupy recollections." For them, it is all about celebrating with family and close friends and that is exactly what we plan to do. But as is my nature as oldest child and obstinate daughter, I just could not let this Saturday pass without a few thoughts. So here are some random thoughts about 50 years with my Mom and Dad.

50 years of Dad telling stories and 50 years of Mom correcting his tall tales.
50 years of Dad screaming about nothing and 50 years of Mom laughing about it later.
50 years of Dad losing stuff and 50 years of Mom finding it.
50 years of Dad getting lost and 50 years of Mom digging him out of his self-created holes and getting him back on course.
50 years of Dad telling jokes and 50 years of Mom fixing the botched punchlines.
50 years of Mom taking classes and 50 years of Dad reaping the benefits.
50 years of Mom baking and cooking and 50 years of her telling Dad that he can't eat any of it.
50 years of travelling the world together and 50 years of Dad meeting people he knows in all corners.
50 years of technology and 50 years of Mom trying to idiot proof it all for Dad.
50 years with Other Mother and Other Father and 50 years of developing a relationship that is unique to the outside world.
50 years of public displays of affection.
50 years of kvetching and 50 years of thanking a higher power that those kvetches aren't much worse.
50 years with 2 kids, 1 son-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, 5 grandchildren, 2 other kids and spouses whom they treat as their own, 5 great-nephews and great-nieces who think of them as Bubby and Zaidy, and countless other family members and friends who love and respect them.

Not a bad legacy for 50 years of marriage.

Yesterday, when discussing this anniversary with my mother she told me a story that she heard while attending Susan Werner's concert last weekend. It seems that Susan recently lost her grandmother who hit the century mark and then some. She shared some of her grandmother's wisdom with the audience. When asked the secret to a successful marriage, Susan's grandma replied "choose someone that you can live with and not someone that you can't live without." My parents figured that nugget out a long time ago. They adore living, loving, and laughing together and my guess is that they wouldn't have changed much in the last 50 years. Ok! Maybe my father's temper tantrums and my mother's guilt trips could have found their way to the trash, but other than that....NOTHING! Happy 50th Mom and Dad. May you continue to embrace every single day as if it were a gift. Too mushy? Too bad.

Love, Dawn (Your first born, obstinate, opinionated, strong-willed daughter that you made in your images!)

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful tribute Dawn, and congratulations to Ralph and Sheila!!