My parents just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. My siblings and I threw them a huge bash in the hopes of recreating their original wedding reception back in the summer of 1970. Minus the bell bottoms and Cher-like hair, of course.
We left nothing out. There was a wedding cake with their original topper on it. Original bridesmaids and groomsmen were invited. A guestbook table was set up with their original sign in pages for guests to put their signature on. We even used my Mom’s original wedding colors in the decor. There was reception-like food, professional photos taken, and their first dance recreated. And we were even lucky enough to do this entire celebration in the original church building.
It was a grand night, to say the least.
What was so interesting to me though, was that amidst all the hustle and bustle to make the evening a magical memory for my parents, what I came away with in the end was something entirely different.
I was standing there next to my husband who was DJing the evening, watching my Dad escort my Mom onto the dance floor for their first dance of the night, and it hit me. This was what love looked like. Two old people, awkwardly dancing, holding each other up, with my Mom’s head leaning ever so gently on my Dad’s chest. You could feel the history of their lives together in that dance. Their struggles and triumphs. Their good days and bad. Their many ups and downs. And through it all…here they were….still together.
That’s what true, eternal love is and will always be to me.
Oh how grateful I am for parents who taught me not only how to find love in this world, but more importantly, how to keep it. And by making their commitment to each other more than just a “till death do us part” kinda thing…starting their marriage off in the temple where we can be sealed as families forever and ever. Beyond the grave. Beyond this life. Beyond the skies and planets and stars…..our bonds as husband and wife are eternal. Now that my friends, is true love.
I couldn’t help but smile at my husband as the song ended and my parents remained, holding hands, as they greeted their family and friends who had come to congratulate them on their special day. He winked at me and I giggled. And I must admit…the tears filling up my eyes were ones of pure joy.
This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. In a world where marriage is increasingly disvalued, it is wonderful to celebrate strong marriages.
I write a blog specifically about sustaining a long-lasting romance in marriage. My own parents recently celebrated their 53rd anniversary and on the post recounting their beginnings called “No Place Like Home”, this was the Hint of Romance:
Consider how important your example in marriage is to your children. Aren’t their future romances worth giving everything to yours for?
You are blessed indeed to have parents who exemplified not only how to find love in this world, but more importantly, how to keep it.”