Recently our family descended upon Walt Disney World. We are one of those odd families who happen to adore Disney and almost all it entails. The things we don’t care for could cover an entire post, but it might take days to explain the joy we have experienced there. This time, we noticed a group wearing matching t-shirts that had “Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight!” stenciled on the back. If you got close enough to read the rest of the words, you would discover that they were celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. I thought it was a really cool idea, one I would love to celebrate with my children and grandchildren. For you see, my husband and I spent our honeymoon at Walt Disney World. We have gone back every few years since then, sharing our love of Disney with our children.
My own parents had been married 52 years before my mother passed away. Although they had their squabbles, my mom and dad had a strong marriage – built with love and nurtured throughout the years. Paul Sweeney is quoted as saying ” A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.” This was true in my life growing up. I can remember the fights, the troubles, the times where us kids couldn’t for the life of us figure out why our parents were together. But then there were the sweet and tender times, the outpouring of affection, the little things they did for each other that was a daily reminder of their commitment. My parents always slept on the same side of the bed, never varying. Even after my mother died, my father still slept on his side of the bed (and he was a big man, with a little bed – talk about training!). My Dad took to writing poetry to my Mom after she died; stories and letters to her. It was quite painful on us children to see such an outpouring of love from a man who was always caring and kind to us growing up, but sappy? Needless to say sappy is not ever a word I would have used to describe him. It tears me apart every time I think of how much pain my father experienced upon the death of my mother – for it was evident in everything my father did.. that he loved my mom. To have lived that life with them, experienced that love is a special part of my life.
I have tried to absorb their teachings, watching and learning in order to hopefully create a happy life for myself. My parents had such a strong sense of family that they encouraged us to spend time together whenever we could. We often went on family vacations and tried our best to be together over holidays. There were times it was more like a chore than a vacation – but to this day I love to spend time with my family. My parents lessons were thoughtful and well done. I hope to take the best of what I learned and pass it on to my own children.
On this day, 16 years ago, my husband and I were married. We were surrounded by family and friends who thought enough of us to spend an afternoon celebrating our union. I walked down the aisle resplendent in white (well, kinda.. white isn’t my best color). We laughed, danced, cried, and made merry. It was a grand party, definitely a perfect kick off for our marriage. My husband is a blessing in my life. I am not always the easiest person to get along with, yet he puts up with my shenanigans on a regular basis. He seems to actually enjoy my company and prefer to be with me, something I find curiously endearing. I have put him through hell and back, yet he stands up for me or does those little things on a daily basis that shows me he cares. He gases up the car for me, takes the garbage out on Monday’s, keeps my bike in running shape. He encourages me to dance and makes me feel beautiful when I do. He treats the children with kindness and respect, takes time to be goofy and playful with them. He helps them do their homework, get dressed, and cleans the living room better than I ever can. He seems to still be very attracted to me and will probably never know that when I giggle after he comes up to grab me from behind or kiss my neck, it is because I love it.
I love you, Che. You have given me happiness I never dreamed of achieving, children I couldn’t have imagined having, and a life that is worth living. I hope I make you happy baby, because you take care of me far better than I give you credit for. I’m glad for all those nights we stayed up and fought – for the making up has been so sweet. Lets celebrate our 50th at Disney, and use the time until then to love and be loved.