60 years. My parents celebrated 60 years of marriage this weekend. I know, that’s a lot of years of marriage. We chose a low-key celebration at their home. All four of their children were present for the day, which is rare, along with some significant others and a few grandchildren. We played games, ate their favorite barbecue, remembered a few stories together, teased each other and then played more games. My family is like yours, awash in family dynamics, so we had all of that going, of course. We had a family meeting to talk about the future which was brave and important and something I would recommend every family do.
Our different resentments, issues and decades long baggage were all present and accounted for. Through the day, we had tears, tension and laughter. Some of us were hot and would crack a window secretly until other people figured it out and were freezing. We repeated the window thing all day.
We asked my parents to please tell us the secret to marriage. My dad said the secret is just two words, “Yes Ma’am.” I like that. Then my mom chimed in and said the secret was respect. I like that too. She still calls my dad her boyfriend and repeatedly tells us how much she likes him and how cute he is. She made a couple of clear, heartfelt speeches telling us how much she has loved her life, her work, her travels, her children, her grandchildren and great-grandson. Alzheimer’s evidently took the day off for this anniversary milestone, so imagine that.
60 years takes you through so many seasons, so many dynamics, so many homes and jobs and friends. 60 years presents different challenges at different times and my family has weathered a few.
Almost everything these days makes me feel grateful, blessed and amazed. Milestone moments highlight the blessings.
We all looked at their wedding pictures. They still have the cake topper from their wedding cake. Some of us did little photo collages and put the pictures on Facebook or Instagram so others could see our celebration.
My husband’s grandmother always used to remind me that I was rich, rich, rich. On Saturday it felt like she was so right.