Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Here's to You, Mama and Daddy!

On this day, I am celebrating my Mama and Daddy, who are no longer with me, but whose anniversary I remember every January 13. Today would be their 65th! Their story is one I always envisioned as shrouded in romance and mystery when I was growing up. They eloped their senior year of high school because my Daddy was about to ship out to the Philippines during the second World War. The secret was being kept from my Mama's father, who apparently would not have allowed the marriage to take place, although my grandmother knew that Evelyn had plans to marry Bill one Friday evening when she was supposedly spending the night at her best friend's house. It seems that everyone in the family but my grandfather was aware of the plans. When my parents showed up back in school the following Monday, all eyes were on them, as my Daddy's younger sister had not done her part to keep it to herself! One can imagine the gears turning, but my older sister didn't make an appearance until three years later. When I was a teenager, I asked my Mom questions about that first weekend, as any curious kid would. For instance, I wanted to know if my Daddy took her back to her friend's house, or what exactly did they do about a wedding night? She answered with a smile, "Now, Kelly, that's really none of your business." She never did clue me in!

My Daddy was a football and basketball star. My Mama was just a shy, pretty girl. They were only teenagers when they married, but it was a lifelong love. When their 50th anniversary was coming up, my sisters and I decided that my parents deserved the wedding reception they never had. So we threw a big party, complete with wedding cake, punch, garter, and grandchildren, and we all had a blast. Everyone had been asked to write down the memories they shared with my Mom and Dad, and we put all those great stories in a big album for them. I would have to say that it was one of the proudest moments of my life to have been a part of the planning and pulling off of such a fun event celebrating two people who'd beaten the odds!

We helped my Mom care for our Dad when his health failed in later years, and then we girls did the same for our mother further down the road. It is amazing to realize that it's been fifteen years since our big party! Even more so to look at how our lives have all changed. How grateful I am to have celebrated these loved ones when I was able to...and how glad I am to be reminded to do just that. Have you celebrated someone you love today?


  1. Your parents are so CUTE. What a testament to plain ole' fashioned love! When I hear of young people going through all this counseling before they get married, (yes, I know it has it's place sometimes), I want to shout, "Get married already...there's really no way to prepare for how hard it is, or how fun it is. Just do it, and grow together."
    I know this is a very unpopular stance, but seeing your parents reminded me of how powerful young love can be. My parents married at 16 and 17, and they will soon celebrate 53 (?) years!

  2. Thanks for your comments!

    Teri, I get what you're saying. Seems like back in the day when couples married young and stayed together their whole lives, it wasn't because of premarital prep like was because that's just what you did! Congrats to your parents, too!


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