It’s an important weekend for our family. My husband’s parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. The celebrations are particularly special as my mother-in-law has battled back from a serious illness to be there.
It’s a different world today than it was that October day back in 1959. We had not yet been to the moon and computers were just beginning to take shape with early prototypes filling entire rooms. Most men were pretty much guaranteed a “job for life” and a woman’s place was still very much in the kitchen, whether she wanted to be there or not. I find it hard to imagine that world, and even harder to imagine what fifty years is like. After all, it’s longer than I have been alive. I know it requires a lot of love, hard work and commitment to keep a marriage strong for that long.
My parents made it to their 50th wedding anniversary, but sadly they were both too ill by then to really celebrate. We had a small celebration a few days before, just the five of us, but that was all they could manage. Their love for each other was everything to them both. One of the last things my Dad said to me was to look after my Mom, and the day my Dad died my Mom lost the will to live, dying only six weeks later. Their love for each other was utterly unwavering. Neither could imagine a world without the other.
There are not many people close to us who have been married 50 years actually. There’s my Aunt and Uncle in Canada, but other than my in-laws, that is about it. in fact, come to think of it I have only even been to two 25th wedding anniversary celebrations in my whole life - and one of them was my parents. Sadly, many of our friends are divorced. It’s a sad testament to these times that marriages seem to fall apart so often.
So it is a great pleasure to be able to celebrate an enduring love like that of my in-laws and to celebrate the institution of marriage itself. A long and successful marriage doesn’t come easy, and requires hard work from both partners to make it work. But when it does, it is a wonderful thing indeed.