(Cross-posted, mostly, from Life as we see it, the official Solheim Photography blog. This post includes more family photos than the other.)
The big one finally came. The golden one. The one that has been 50 years in the making. Mom and Dad (aka Lola and Lolo to Songwriter and Storyteller) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Mom and Dad planned a special mass with a renewal of their wedding vows followed by quite a reception at the Four Points Sheraton in San Diego. It was one of those rare events when relatives from across the country (and another country, primarily the Philippines) and old friends of my parents (most of them named “auntie” and “uncle” to make things easier on us [then] tiny tots) came together to honor and celebrate my parents long union. I can’t remember the last time we had such a reunion. In fact, I haven’t seen many of my parents’ friends since I was a child. Talk about bringing me back to my youth. hahaha
50 years. Together. Theirs is a marriage of equals, of best friends, of mutual respect, of unconditional love and unbridled laughter. Lots of laughter. Some people wonder why I’m always smiling and quick to laugh. Apply that saying, ”the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and it’s not hard to understand where I get it from once you meet my parents.
Oh, they’ve had their hard times. Dad was in the Navy when we were young and Mom was left to keep the household running, working as a nurse, and tending to three young children (that’s my two brothers and me) alone for months at a time. I have only two children and I sorely miss my husband when he’s on a business trip for more than 2 days. But we managed. I know that Mom was really sad when we talked to Dad on the phone after he’d been at sea for a while. As we got older, Dad was able to choose commissions that kept him at home and not at sea. Like any young couple, I remember disagreements here and there but there was always this united front when it came to us kids. And laughter. Lots of it.
It’s been many years since I lived at home. I went away to college and ended up working and living in that area. My brothers and I have our own families, homes and lives. Each year, the holidays bring us back together. Even though we don’t see each other that often, there’s always a strong sense of family when we’re there. It’s what my parents created years ago. It’s a gift they gave each of us kids though we didn’t realize it then. And now they’re growing old together, enjoying each other’s company, visiting with old friends, singing in church, looking forward to visits with kids and grandkids. And laughing. Always laughing.
An original post to It’s Never Easy, But It’s Always Fun blog.