By Pat Larsen
For Capital Region Independent Media
In preparation for two very significant milestones earlier this year, I found that I would often drift off into a state of dreamy recollection asking the question, where did the time go?
None more significant than the day that my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in June. This day, this blast from the past, the year 1973, seemed like many lifetimes ago. So, of course, out came the photo albums, the wedding pictures, the attempts at remembering names and identifying those who were still in our lives and those who were not.
Then came the stories, recalled each time with just a slightly different embellishment depending on which one of us was retelling it.
There was indeed something magical in that time period, given its simplicity and the standard of following the traditions set forth by parents and grandparents.
Well, that’s not entirely true. My husband and I were high school sweethearts and not “betroth” to each other as our grandparents had been coming from Europe.
But, nevertheless, we knew what to expect from the engagement announcements until the day of the wedding and the big party after the priest said, “You may kiss the bride.” We were then off to our honeymoon… where else?… the Poconos, of course.
Our love for each other carried us forward and before we knew it, the tsunami of life delivered us to the place we found ourselves, now married 50 years.
WE STILL DON’T KNOW HOW THAT ALL HAPPENED.
My immediate family, composed of our children and their spouses, organized and executed the loveliest of weekends for us to spend together. Yes, together, all of us with the grandkids in tow from age 18 through age 3. Plus all of our pets, who no one would leave behind. We drew the line with cats and the gerbil but made sure they were well cared for at home.
There were brunches and mimosa toasts and game playing and hiking and lunches with champagne toasts. Then sweet gifts of commemorative blankets and gift certificates and handwritten cards created by the youngest and the most beautiful of speeches given by the adult kiddos that moved all of us to tears of joy.
If you want to know how your kids really feel about you, celebrate a milestone.
They each thanked us for being shining examples in their lives that were beacons of light that they could and did follow as well. Who knew?
Then they focused on the SACRIFICES that we made for them.
My husband and I looked at each other and said out loud…SACRIFICES? Indeed, they replied. They felt that we had made the choice to create our family even though we were just young adults ourselves and despite limited resources and some pretty tough conditions in our world, never let on that life was hard.
Those words were the best gift we could’ve ever received 50 years later.
Then this happened: We went out together for a beautiful dinner on the night of our anniversary. We were seated in the dining hall adjacent to a big bay window and we were a witness to a wedding just outside under a beautiful canopy. The bride and groom looked so happy. We realized this was yet another gift… to be able to glimpse back, helping us to see that through this looking glass, all 50 years of love and life came flooding back to this very moment.
Here was how it started and for us is continuing ever more.
Pat Larsen and her husband and pups live in Greene County. Pat is a fitness instructor at The Shamrock House in East Durham, NY, and teaches classes and programs weekly to Baby Boomers and seniors. Her love of music and movement and vow to help others live their best life at any age drives this format. Contact Pat at 518-275-8686 for more information.