Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy 30th Anniversary

Today marks my parents' 30th wedding anniversary.

30 years ago, my parents got married on their farm in South Jersey (not far from where we are now, actually) with lots of friends and family around. They had the ceremony and celebration there. They were happy, you can see it.

This exciting anniversary is not something my mom was really looking forward to quite the same as "normal" couples would. My dad's condition makes him essentially emotionally absent all together. These days he spends a lot of time in his room, maybe some time outside wandering and he doesn't talk much unless you prompt him with questions. It's just so sad, especially since he was such a caring guy...

Anyway, a few months ago while trying to figure out what we could do for our mom, my sister suggested we throw a party for my mom to help her celebrate ... a surprise party!

We put together invitations quickly - I had some good photos scanned and we put words together for the invitations. We put together lists of people to invite to the party and another list: a list of people we'd ask to send cards. The card list was mostly for people that were a distance away or we weren't sure if they could make it to the party. Then, our aunt, my mom's sister, was nice enough to print all the invites out for us.

Aside from some glitches, which I'm just going to not acknowledge here, I've got to say the whole day was a huge success thanks to some very helpful family members, a lot of family friends and a little bit of fate too, I think :) I think my mom was definitely surprised, the food people brought (the party was a potluck) was all so delicious and everyone seemed a have such a good time.

The people that came were just so nice and so helpful. Everyone was excited and sitting around. There were some really good stories going around too, of my parents, the day they were married (there were several people there that had been at their wedding, including my mom's maid of honor and our friends from Florida) and some great stories about my dad.

Speaking of him, I say fate (or luck) because my dad was just remarkably like his old self. It was incredible! We had lined the driveway to surprise my parents when they got home (figuring the cars in the driveway would be a give away if not lol) and my dad got out, smiling and started shaking hands and hugging people. It was nuts!!

And it didn't stop there! Dad barely bothered with food, which we had arranged so that there would be a distance away so we'd be able to catch him trying to sneak any food. He was even good about all the coolers filled with soda and water all over the yard. You'd never know we need to keep the fridge, cabinets and anything remotely edible (including dog treats) locked away. Dad didn't even hide in his room, instead he spent several hours playing bocce ball and then several hours sitting around with friends while they talked.

It was such a nice day and now, it's the 19th, their actual anniversary (we celebrated early since it was a surprise party)...

Happy Anniversary, mom & dad.
Thank you for being such a great example together for so many years.