My parents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Not too many people hit that milestone anymore, and we wanted to acknowledge their perseverance and commitment to one another through the difficult and easy times of 50 years of marriage.
Together with my siblings, we hosted a party. My job was to welcome those in attendance and segue from the introduction to the vow renewal ceremony.
I struggled to come up with an appropriate way to kick-start the festivities. I wanted something personal that might strike a sentimental chord, perhaps cause those in attendance to smile or laugh, and yet still be meaningful to my parents.
I crafted this list of questions, then used my parents’ answers to write my welcome. Download your free copy the Anniversary printable
I used their answers to write the tribute below. You can use it as a template to craft your own personal and heartfelt speech to honor your parents.
A long time ago Bev set sail across the ocean carrying a China doll and a panda bear. She left behind England, her round flower garden, and a bird aviary (this was before she was afraid of birds). She couldn’t even imagine what lay ahead.
About that same time, Dave was chasing freedom and catching grass stains in Highgate, Ontario. In the winter months, he scraped the ice from the inside of his bedroom window and then off the windshield of his rusty 1951 Ford pick-up truck.
The truck he loved drove him to the job he despised where Bev’s mother spotted him. Her mother said, “He seems like a decent guy.” Bev, now grown, agreed.
On their first date, Dave brought Bev to the movie theatre thankful that his job at Zellers had finally paid off. She was the one.
After months of laughing and kissing, learning to Polka and waltz, the lover of boiled eggs and soldiers (that’s toast cut into strips – not men) married the lover of ice cream and pie.
They established their home in a tiny upstairs apartment with only a bed and a $30 refrigerator that fell down the staircase. Bev cooked their dinner in an electric frying pan and heated a tin of vegetables over a candle. Life was good.
The babies soon came, bringing with them the years of Tupperware, paper bag lunches, bike rides, Star Trek reruns, big Sunday dinners, mashed potatoes, and words of wisdom:
“Your word is your bond,” Dad would say, along with, “Life isn’t fair.”
Mom would tell us, “Everyone must choose for themselves if they will serve Jesus.”
They built a home and a life together. They welcomed grandbabies and great grandbabies and made family memories fishing, baking, and being together.
We celebrate their 50 years of marriage this summer with joy, so thankful that mom got on that boat all those years ago and that Dad went to the job he despised – otherwise none of us would be here now.