To Mom and Dad on your Coral Anniversary,

The 35th year of marriage is marked by a gift of coral.  Or jade if coral doesn’t strike your fancy. Who knew?! Don’t worry, you won’t be receiving such a gift from us.

And here’s the thing: how do you really give a gift that adequately speaks of the testament that 35 years of marital fidelity means?

I don’t think you can.

So here’s what I propose as a fitting tribute.  A thank you for modeling for Billy and I how to love your spouse, the joy of marrying your best friend and the way to live and let live.  What I will do is this: I will honor my vows – the same ones you made – to my husband in a generous and loving way.  We will tackle home improvements, cross country trips and riotous family holidays together.  We will keep an open to door for a friend in need, lost youth or traveling family.  And we will love our children.

Really, that’s the sweetest part of the deal, these kids of ours.  How could you know, 35 years ago, the fun and beauty that the good Lord had in store because of your faithfulness and your yes to each other?  Your grandchildren are your heritage, the saplings under your mighty oak.  It was for them that you dreamed and hoped, toiled and sweated, laughed and cried together.

Let’s be honest, it wasn’t always easy.  Living with another person never is and loving them, too?  Forget about  it!  It is by the grace of God and His grace alone that it can be so.  But when you look at Max, Philip, Tess and Ellie, wasn’t – isn’t – it all worth it? I know you give resounding and hearty “yesses” in response.

So, because of you and for you, we will love them up right.  We will discipline them and train them and bring them up to know and love the Lord so that some day they too, will pass on all that they know all because you fell in love.

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Thank you for saying these words and following through.  We love you! Happy Anniversary.