Fifty Years, Love and Memories


Today is my mother and father-in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary.  Fifty years is a very long time.  I should know because that’s how long my very own bones have been on this planet learning to walk, and run, falling down, then starting again.  Relentlessly.

Fifty years.

A marriage lasting fifty years is more something to read about in the section of the newspaper that also records births and deaths, engagements and graduations than it is something people I know have accomplished.  Sure, my grandparents were married fifty years, but it took my mother’s mother three tries to get it right, and at that point, I think maybe she was just tired.

When I think of my mother and father-in-law, they’re rarely considered separately.  They go together like a nicely wrapped present, and if you’d told me years ago that they would matter to me as much as they now do, I would have had trouble believing you.  But they matter quite a bit. IMG_0670_2.JPG

IMG_1532_2.JPG Maybe it’s because of their unwavering support — their interest, their enthusiasm, their curiosity, energy, patience, graciousness…uncomplicated kindness.

IMG_2133.JPG I’ve known them for nearly half the time they’ve been married, which is an interesting perspective now that I think of it.  And in that time, we’ve shared quite a lot:  Thursday night pizza and wine — lots and lots of wine; annual dinners out to celebrate our anniversaries and birthdays all in one big night;  old jobs and new jobs; trips and family holidays; mint juleps and phone calls from the Kentucky Derby.  It may not sound like anything out of the ordinary to others, but I’m smiling as I think about it all.

I think about my father-in-law’s quiet, positive outlook, and my mother-in-law’s plans of places to go and things to see.  I think about what caring grandparents they are, and how good they are at making sure everyone knows that he or she is thought of in a special way.


I guess thinking about all of this today has made me realize that outside of a few stories about how they met, and where they lived, I don’t know all that much about their lives together — except that they raised a remarkably patient man I happen to be married to.  I haven’t seen many photos, either, and wonder about them now.

We’re all going out to dinner tonight to celebrate their 50 years together.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to get a story or two out of them, and if I’m lucky, some photos not too much longer from now, just to see.

Fifty years.

The MoH and I aren’t quite half way there, but we’ll get there.  We’ll get there with bells on, grinning all the way.



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9 responses to “Fifty Years, Love and Memories”

  1. “Fifty years is a very long time” it certainly is, and this was a lovely tribute.

    What does it take I often wonder? Something most people no longer have I suppose.

    My grandparents are married over fifty years, my other grandparents, both deceased, would have been had they both not met untimely deaths. I often wonder how. There are things we don’t covet any longer, I think.

    Happy anniversary to them. Have a wonderful dinner, take many photographs.

  2. Amy

    Ahhh – very sweet Happy Anniversary to MoH’s folks! My parents are at 43 this year… it’s a long long time esp. thinking I have been married nearly 9 yrs myself and some days I hope we can last another 9 minutes! LOL.

  3. Earlene

    Beautiful! They are beautiful, together and separately. I enjoy getting together with them on some of the family gatherings. Beautifully written, my daughter.

  4. cooper — maybe it’s hard for some to covet something that’s unattainable. In the long run, I hope people stay together because it’s good for them, their family, and whatever else is important in life. Dinner was lovely, and photos may be coming…

    Ritzy — 43 is quite the accomplishment! As far as you and Mr. Ritzy go, your smiles are too genuine for me to even think you’re not going to be together at 50 and counting!

    Hey Mom — Thanks, and I agree. Maybe we should do a big Valentine’s dinner, huh?

  5. Congrats to the in-laws! 50 years is one h3lluvan accomplishment. the only other couple I know that have pulled off anything close is my own grandparents who will soon be celebrating their 65th year together. All my best wishes, and I hope you get those stories and a few pictures to boot!

  6. FIFTY YEARS? Holy hell. That is HUGE.

    I cant seem to make it 50 weeks with the same person.

  7. I had tears when I read this. Thank you so much for a lovely evening. It was memorable. As Anthony Hopkins said in Meet Joe Black: “50 Years – doesn’t it go by in a blink.” (It was his 65th birthday bash however).

    From being at the top of the mountain and in the valley of dispare, we have managed to make it through with compassion, understanding, compromise, laughter, patience and love guiding our way. (Plus it helped to have a great guy to begin with 🙂 M

  8. loripea

    Thank you for sharing, I’m sorry we missed seeing them while we were visiting. I think M & M’s relationship is what Ted always wanted for his parents.

  9. Thanks Jerry — they’re quite the lovely couple. I’m feeling a bit special that you popped in over here…

    Ahh…Meleah. You will. You will. The right one hasn’t come yet and it’s worth finding that person, isn’t it? Some of us just get it wrong for a while.

    (((HUGS))) to you Marylynn. Big fat warm ones for all your love and understanding (I’m not easy to understand, I know…) and always, always allowing me to feed you!

    Hey lormo — It’s okay, because you and Ted will be like them. How many more years to go?

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