Last week my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. My siblings and I threw a party for them, and it was a lot of fun. In fact, I think the party and the events leading up to it highlighted two main reasons my parents’ love story is so successful:
1. Their love is enriched by community.
About 50 people gathered to celebrate with us. Many of these people have been friends with my parents for decades, and they shared stories of hard times and fun times, ups and downs, thick and thin. Even the more recent friends are quick to talk about how my parents reached out to them, included them, listened, made them laugh. And my parents mentioned at the party how thankful they are for friends to share joys and sorrows with. They recognize that you can’t make it through 50 years on your own, and your world is too small when it’s “just the two of us.” True love is humble enough to be enriched by community.
2. Their love is selfless.
I just want to tell you one story that illustrates what my parents’ “selfless love” looks like in real life:
My parents have been blessed with a daughter who is mentally handicapped, and they have spent most of their married lives caring for her (with the help of friends, family, and communities like Bethshan). The week leading up to my parents’ anniversary, my sister was in the hospital. She reacts unpredictably in strange situations, so my parents made sure there was someone familiar with her 24 hours a day. Most of those hours they covered themselves, my mom spending most days there, and my dad spending most nights. Did they get tired and cranky? Yes. Did they complain about the sacrifice? No. To them, this is just what parents do for their children and what spouses do for each other. It’s not romantic. It’s not glamorous. But it is love.
If you decide to watch the little slideshow I’ve included below, you won’t see the community and the selflessness I mentioned above. That stuff stays in the background.
What you’ll see is two incredibly young people starting a life together, completely unaware of how their story will unfold. You’ll see them mature through leisure suits and perms; you’ll see smiles as well as dirty looks; you’ll see two ordinary people just getting up day after day to write another page of their story together.
And isn’t that what true love is all about?
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
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- Five words that describe my mom
- Five gifts from my father
- 50 Golden Years (Facebook photo album)