Hello, my name is Johnathan and tonight we have gathered to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents.
My parents have a foundation of friendship and a passionate love for one another for which their lives together as husband and wife has evolved through many of life’s tragedies and celebrations.
Before they were married, their love was tested by my grandfather who assumed my mother was pregnant before they were married. During the wedding, he held at his side his Winchester model, 24 16 GA 28″ as he walked my mother down the aisle and during the wedding.
Many years later he said the shotgun was an incentive for my father to take serious the oath and promise he was to make to his daughter.
Fourteen months later and 3-hours of labor I was born. My mother says I was special after she labored 10- hour with my sister, Jocelyn and 19 hours with my baby brother Brian, who just didn’t want to exit.
The births were followed by the purchase of our family home, several cars over the years, a boat and many family decisions. Make no mistake stress was a part of their entire marriage especially with three hyperactive rambunctious kids who are separated by five years of age.
After fifty years of marriage, they raised three beautiful children to become successful adults who provided nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren with a fifth great-grandchild on the way.
Surprisingly, our parents have quickly transitioned from the strict disciplining, overprotective parents we grew up with to become the ultimate in spoiling their grand and great-grandchildren.
I believe their grandparent behavior is a form of payback.
As the elder son, I have come to value my parent’s wisdom and their many quotes.
Two months ago tonight’s celebrations plans began with me and my siblings gathering at the local Applebee’s restaurant to discuss how to celebrate our parents the 50th anniversary. I knew the meeting was not going to be quite as satisfying when a heated debate erupted over the cellphones about when, where and what time to meet. Once we finally met many words were exchanged, with little decided and the meeting ended earlier than expected as we discussed who would pay.
Without criticizing my siblings, I’m happy we met without our spouses or children as they would have been embarrassed and luckily, only heated words were only exchanged.
Three weeks later our second meeting did not go as well.
It was held at my sister’s home, and the first debate began with who could and how to park in her driveway. The next discussion was should my sisters two 90-pound German Shepherd dogs be allowed inside the home with so many guests? Then the debate of, should alcohol be served during the meeting, followed by which family relatives to invite?
Unbeknownst to the adults who were gathered in the dining room on the second level. The basement contained all nine grandkids who began choreographing and videotaping a musical number for tonight’s celebration. Their meeting led to several physical fights but luckily no injuries.
Both meetings ended when one of the grandchildren had an allergic reaction to food served which resulted in a hospital visit. But, 5-year-old Shelby was released after six hours in the emergency room.
Fortunately, our parents received word of our meetings, and most importantly they interceded to prevent any more meetings for the celebration we have gathered for tonight.
Tonight’s program is simple.
As you can see on the six video monitors or over five-thousand photos dating back to our parent’s wedding, my siblings, and the grandchildren. I was responsible for organizing the photo display, per my dad’s orders.
My sister is in charge of all of the food, including the fried chicken and cake we are eating, per my mother’s orders.
My brother was in charge of organizing transportation for all of our relative, including Aunt Peg, who flew in from England, per both of our parent’s order.
The decorations were handmade by all of the grand and great-grandchildren per our mother’s orders.
My parents have asked me to announce they are moving to Florida leaving in the motorhome you all seen parked in front of the hall tonight as you entered.
They have requested that no more organized celebrations of their many years of wedding bliss. But they would love a phone call or face time to talk, catch up on current events.
Our parents have provided many words of wisdom over the years, and my mother has asked me to read one of her quotes.
“Too many cooks in the kitchen, stirring one pot will spoil the recipe.