This past weekend, Doug and I attended my aunt and uncle’s 60th wedding anniversary celebration. It was a wonderful afternoon, reconnecting with family that I haven’t seen in a while. It was a happy time, with many hugs and lots of smiles. Big family get togethers with extended family seem to happen less and less often.
Cousins have grown and are grandparents. Their own children now have children. These new adults I only remember as youngsters. Each one of us cousins has become a troop of our own. We have each become our own small gatherings. We are now what our grandparents once were. The leader of our own considerable clan. We can fill a hall to overflowing.
It was a beautiful wonderful day. The perfect day for a celebration. After all, how often do two people get to celebrate their 60th anniversary. The room was filled with family, friends, and memories. There were pictures on the table from their dating days and from their wedding day. But one of the most enjoyable parts of the party was a slide show of their life. It was their story in pictures. The story brought tears, laughter, and applause.
The slide show was filled with happy, smiling friends and family. Amongst them were pictures of those who have already departed from us. Those people were missed that day. Yet when I looked around the room I saw their smiles on the faces of those youngsters.
My Aunt Nell and Uncle Harry are perfect examples of what it is to dance merrily into the land of AARP. But I’m not sure that either one of them truly knows what retirement is. They are a wonderful example of marriage and friendship. Their happiness is reflected not only in their love for each other, but their love for all those who enter their orbit.
Their life has not been perfect, nor has it been easy. How do I know? I don’t know anyone who has lead an easy or perfect life. But after spending time with those who love them, watching their story unfold through pictures projected onto a wall, I know that they have all the riches that they could want. They are happy, content, and ready for what ever adventure waits for them next.