On September 4th, 2015, my mom and dad celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
To mark the occasion, we had a small garden party in their backyard. It was a day full of memories and laughter, summer flowers and colourful decorations, videos and old photographs, a pretty cake and special toasts, and a board of fancy tea sandwiches.
Here is the clan. We were short two to be our full group, but everyone that could be was there.
I was “nominated” by my siblings to welcome people and make a toast on behalf of the immediate family. I had practiced all week and I knew what I wanted to say, but when the time came, what emerged was more nerves and emotion than the toast I had planned.
If I was to try again and give words to what my parents’ 50 years means to me, here is what I would share:
Having been around for many of those 50 years, I have come to understand that 50 years of anything is a really long time. Yet, when you get to that point and look back, you can’t imagine that so much time has passed so quickly.
Planning the party, I realized I didn’t know as much about my parents’ wedding day as I would have liked. Between my mom, and her friend Dorothy, I learned a few things along the way.
The wedding was a fun day. My mom and her friend Dorothy, the maid of honour, made their dresses and their hats. With my mom’s nod, Dorothy also credits herself with setting up the first date, convincing my dad to ask my mom to house party when they were 16. In Dorothy’s words, “they were an item ever since,” and that was 56 years ago, four children and nine grandchildren later.
This journey started when they were young (younger really than they wanted to tell us when we were that age). From it was built a family (four kids) in the space of 10 years, along with life in a small Ottawa-valley town, an African village, at the cottage on the lake, and later in a city we learned to call home.
With many happy, fun-filled days also came those days that test you to the core. With the party guests in mind, it occurred to me that many other couples and families could tell a similar story.
Yet, from this life experience, I have come to know and admire this group’s sense of wisdom and their appreciation of friendship and being there for one another. Hearing the jokes and the “remember when” stories, I hoped that the party memories created for my own children that day, and for my nieces and nephews, involved a glimpse into the full life of their grandparents and a sense of the value of lasting relationships with family and friends.
I hope the photos give you an idea of the celebration of the day:
Happy anniversary mom and dad! We wish you good health, much happiness and many more years to come!