Skip to main content

BEACON Senior News

Lifelong partners: my parents' 65-year love story

Apr 26, 2024 04:30PM ● By Rhonda Wray

This is the time of year we honor mothers and fathers. But before they were Mom and Dad, they were he and she… as babies, children and teens. Before there was an online, much less meeting on it, they got acquainted, fell in love and married. 

Though there are many such couples, they are still somewhat of a rarity. One marriage. One spouse. For life! At any point any one of these things can implode. That’s just life in an imperfect world. But sometimes, against the odds, marriages endure for the duration. I know one of these couples well because they raised me.

My parents recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. To be married that long, you need to marry young, stay married and keep on living. They’ve managed all three. Apparently the 65th anniversary is the “blue sapphire” one, though the only sapphires there were my mom’s blue eyes and those lucky enough to inherit them. They don’t really give each other anniversary gifts, but they are the gift.

To commemorate this grand occasion, those from Phoenix, Seattle, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls and Des Moines joined the Coloradans to honor these two who have shaped our lives and are the reason we’re all here! We represented most decades of life, from 6 months to 87. Not even illness, a generator falling off a plane or lost keys could keep this springtime celebration from blooming!

We descended on an Airbnb in Monument for a sweet but fleeting weekend of nostalgia. We took a quiz where the younger generation learned that Mom was voted Best Personality in her high school of 700 and Dad could stand on his head and wiggle his ears. 

A slideshow played on repeat, with photos that morphed from black and white to color and every age and stage of fashion you’d expect, from 1936 to now. Although the smiles were genuine, behind them were also seasons of loss and hardship that added difficult chapters to their story.

Their anniversary date of April 11 was handed down to them by Mom’s parents, who celebrated their silver anniversary the same day Mom and Dad got married. Mom’s parents also inherited that date and my sister chose it as well, so it’s a four-generation anniversary.

The world record for the longest marriage was set in 2011, at 86 years! Unbelievable. We all felt it was a privilege to gather and toast to 65 years.

We basked in the warm spring sun, inhaled the scent of pine trees that encircled the backyard and listened to the stillness only punctuated by various birds’ calls.

“Who is your favorite kid?” my nephew asked my mom. She sincerely shared that she loves us all for our differences.

“Boring answer!” he responded, to giggles.

We laughed a lot that weekend. And sang. And shared meals that were by turns kid-friendly, gluten-free, vegetarian, non-GMO and dairy free, as gatherings tend to be these days.

“I’ll be smiling about this for weeks to come,” Dad said. Mom felt honored and loved. 

Saturday afternoon, we were all downstairs when we heard a loud crash! The mirror in the master bath where my parents stayed fell off the wall and cracked. The superstition about broken mirrors and bad luck? Don’t believe it. These two prioritize this life they committed to in 1959. It has kept them together and enduring through parenting, moving, trials, restarts and health concerns. Yet they’re still here with children, grandchildren and even great-grands to rise up and call them blessed. 

I can’t think of anything more fortunate than that. ν

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required
I am a/n...