Fifty years

“What should the card say?”

The florist had me stumped. Choosing the dozen red roses was easy but what could I say?

How do you wish your parents a happy anniversary when one of them is dead?

I wasn’t there when my parents married. But I wear my mother’s wedding ring that says “J.M. to J. C.  9-22-1962” on the ever-narrowing inner circle and I know at eleven a.m. on that day, when they were both so young, they started something very special. Three of my favorite people on our little blue planet came from my parents’ love: my sister, my brother, and my sister.

I’ve cried at many weddings as I watched the sappy, sickly happy couple begin their lives together, knowing what they can’t even imagine: it will be hard.

Hard to stay married. Hard to keep loving each other on the days that you don’t even like each other. Hard to lean on and support each other through sleepless nights, sickness, sadness. So hard. And so wonderful to have someone who will always have your back. For the rest of your life. Or the rest of his life.

On the wedding day, the two become a brand new family. Even without kids, they are undeniably promising to always be there for the other. As a family.

So, in some part of me, I do remember my parents’ wedding day. The song echoes in my heart.

“Oh how we danced on the night we were wed…”

So I answered, “Mom, Remembering the day fifty years ago when you started our family.”


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