Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18 (NIV)
Tonight, my family went out to dinner to celebrate my parents’ 56th wedding anniversary. My sister and her husband and their two kids (actually young adults now), my husband and our oldest son and our adopted daughter along with my parents went to a local Italian restaurant for dinner. Youngest son and his girlfriend, who had a family gathering at her house, could not go. It is probably a good thing because as long as we had to wait for a table for ten, we would still be there waiting for a table for twelve! Of course, it was Christmas Eve, so lots of families and large parties occupied the restaurant as well. My parents were married on Christmas Eve in 1954. My mother was on break from college and my dad on leave from the Navy. My mom says it was crazy to get married at the holidays, but that was the only time that they could have a honeymoon. And besides, the church was already decorated for Christmas. Her mother, an accomplished seamstress made her dress, a calf length white gown cinched tight at her waist with a little jacket. They each only had one attendant, but my mother’s brothers were ushers. They still laugh about how my uncle forgot to escort my dad’s mother back down the aisle when the ceremony was over. They got married at two in the afternoon, went to a reception at a friend’s house and then, headed to Savannah for a brief honeymoon. My parents though in their late 70s are still as sharp and quick witted as ever. My sister and I were trying to get them to fill in some details of their wedding like who made her wedding bouquet and what the music was like. My dad kept insisting that my mom’s roommate, also the maid of honor, sang a solo, but my mom said he was wrong. When he said, “Well, who did sing?” she replied, “I did.” And he said, “YOU DID?” Then, she laughed and said, “You can’t remember either!” My mom got so tickled she was crying with laughter. And so were the rest of us. I can’t say that their life has been easy, but it has been full of love and laughter. After their honeymoon, my dad went back to the Navy serving as a medic on minesweeper in the Far East, and my mother went back to college and then, after graduation, taught school. Eventually, my dad came home and went to college, while my mom worked to support them until I came along a few months before my dad graduated. My dad worked his way through a marine construction company as an engineer eventually becoming company president. They taught me a love for history and travel, a love for family and for God. I look exactly like my mother, but act exactly like my dad. We had a wonderful evening together. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! Here’s praying for many more.