We celebrated my grandparents last week.
We celebrated their family, their lives, and their marriage, their commitment to each other that has seen them through and kept them together for 50 years.
Fifty years is a long time. A long time to spend with one and the same person. And yet, at the same time, so short. Such a short time to love.
On the gathering of celebration, I’ve heard it said over and over how they have lived, loved, hurt, quarreled, and forgiven. I realized how close this family is, how special they are. Ever since I joined this beautiful family almost 22 years ago, have I never heard of any arguing or fighting. It might have happened, I don’t know, but it sure hasn’t lasted long. Grudges are not held, and peace is instilled.
Some details that made this family and this celebration special:
- As of now, in the year 2017, for their 50th anniversary, this family was comprised of exactly 50 people.
- Every single one of these 50 people was able to make it to the gathering to celebrate.
- Not a single one has ever died.
- We are healthy and well; not one is disabled in any way.
- Everyone of us is a born-again child of God.
The odds certainly have been in our favor. When I mention these facts to other people, their response is, “that is unreal.” And it probably is. I realize how rare families like this one are, and I’m incredibly thankful to be a part of it.
This family started with three boys, followed by four girls. They all got married in due time, and started bringing a boatload of little grandchildren into the world. So far, there are 4 married grandchildren, but no great-grandchildren yet.
The party consisted of remembering and sharing, in typical anniversary fashion. There was lots of visiting, catching up, volleyball, slideshows, singing, and eating. Allow me to toot our own horns for a moment here, but this family sure can sing! I don’t think I’ve ever heard any other family sing so beautifully. They are also talented with a variety of musical instruments, including piano, guitars, violin, cello, trombone, (and other jazzy things) flute, and pan flute.
Grandma’s one and only sister (she has no other siblings but one sister) and her husband joined us for a few days, which also made it special. What a sweet, fun-to-talk-with couple they are.
The celebration was ended by releasing 50 balloons into the air as a symbol of how short these 50 years were. It reminded me of James 4:14; Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
We don’t know what the future holds. Sooner or later someone will be called home, we know that. It is sobering to think about. A vapor lasts for a second before it vanishes, as does life.
Meanwhile, we will enjoy each other while we can. Family is the greatest blessing on earth, and marriage is the greatest institution ever created.
My heart is full.