My parents are about to celebrate 58 years together, an anniversary also shared with one of their favorite wedding gifts, a 1953 Sunbeam T-20 toaster. I’m happy to say both the marriage and toaster are still in fine working order.
The T-20 toaster was billed as Automatic Beyond Belief. Simply pop in the bread and watch it magically descend into the glowing gallows, only to rise perfectly browned minutes later. It’s technology like this that won the space race and the hearts of cinnamon-sugar toast lovers everywhere. Marriages, unlike toasters, are not automatic. I’ve witnessed over fifty years of giving and taking and laughing and crying between my parents, and one thing remains constant: their commitment to and love for each other.
If you don’t think times have changed, my mother and father had to wait four years to get married because my father’s football scholarship disallowed it. With the last bowl game under his belt and the pigskin retired, the wedding was on and their journey together began.
My father, a man of few words, likes to chide my mother with, “Maxine, you’d drive a normal man nuts.” My mother counters with a smile and the last word, “Yes Dear, it’s a good thing you’re not normal.”
This was also the father, who called me when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer*, and said, “I can’t imagine my life without her.” For a man who thinks “pretty good” is the ultimate compliment and a handshake is better than a hug, the crack in his voice spoke volumes. (This will likely embarrass him and I will be out of the will, but so be it.)
Bundled up last July, Mom and Dad taking in the festivities of Vashon Island’s Strawberry Festival.
While a blog post doesn’t do justice to lives and loves as rich as theirs, it’s perhaps a little reminder to always celebrate the people we love, and to go out on a limb and tell them so. One thing’s for sure, this is an anniversary that my sister, brother and I are always grateful for. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
*My mother is also celebrating her 35th year as a breast cancer survivor, a milestone and blessing we never take for granted.