50 year Anniversary, and other marital celebrations
My brother's wedding
January 8, 2014 was my very first celebration of love after my divorce. The planning was a rush job. No, it was not a shot gun wedding because she was pregnant. The bride is from the Philippines, and she was in the United States on a fancée visa. Which I believe gives them a time limit of three months to get married. All the invitations were e-invites. The guest that traveled the farthest was in Illinois. Someone held a cellphone for her family to watch them get married via Skype. They got married at the courthouse. Then, we went to the reception, which was located close by. There was cake and food. There was no DJ or music. It was just completely simple. They paid for their own reception and clothing. My mom paid for the cake and bouquet. There were only two attendants for the paperwork. The bride's cousin, and the groom's father, which happens to be my father. It was a nice intimate ceremony. However, I missed the music.
50 year Anniversary
In March 2016, I attended a 50 year wedding anniversary of this very amazing couple. There were about 110 people there. Some of their brothers and sisters. All their five children, the children's spouses and/or girlfriends, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The event was catered by one son. The three cakes were made by someone else. When you have that many in a family, you really don't have to pay for much to have a great time.
There is an 11 year age difference between this couple, which is actually the same age difference between my oldest brother and his wife. However, as we all know, times have changed and longevity appears to be a thing of the past. Even children in this family have had to experience the stigma of divorce. It's disappointing. It really doesn't matter what kind of family you come from. Divorce can find you. People are not the same that they were back then. They do not have the same values.
However, I have known this couple for over a year now, and I feel very fortunate in knowing them. They surely know how to keep their family grounded. They know where their roots are, because they have a vacation home in the town that they both grew up. (Same as my father's older brother, who has a vacation home in the town they (my uncle and aunt) grew up. (Notre Dame de bois Canada.) It seems that those that remain grounded and connected to where they came from know what longevity is all about.
Count them, 1, 2, 3!!!!
The first cake with the motorcycle on it is the Groom's Cake. There are many in this family that love motorcycles. (Apparently, when Jim met my oldest brother, they did not get the chance to talk bikes. If only they both knew.)
The second cake is the Bride's Cake. Her favorite cake is Carrot cake, so someone made a carrot cake and decorated it with pearls. The Carrot Cake was SO good, there was none left at the end of the celebration. YUM!!
Then, of course, we have the traditional 3 tier 50th Anniversary Cake, which I believe, some layers were chocolate. They all turned out beautifully!!
Black & White Canvas Remake
This is their original wedding picture, which was taken 50 years ago. However, it was remade on canvas, in which I gave their youngest son the idea of making. Yup, their adopted, youngest son, who has cerebral palsy re-did this picture on canvas. (Pictured with me.) He did an amazing job on it too. I am very impressed. I think he missed his calling and should do things like this for a living. He made his own Christmas gift bows out of ribbon. Let's just say that being a Boy Scout has greatly impacted his life. In fact, that would be a great story of how we really first met, which will be better saved for another time.
However, I really wish that there were more couples like this one that celebrated their 50th anniversary. We really do not see them much anymore. The anniversary celebration that I really wish I could have attended was my father's parents, who got married on July 6, 1938. However, my grandfather passed away on July 1, 1989. Five days before they would have celebrated 51 years. I believe that they had a 50th anniversary celebration, but we didn't see them that year. My grandmother never remarried after the death of my grandfather. She's a true inspiration. Now, she's been placed in a nursing home, and will be 95 on March 20th. There are just so many resilient elderly people that are inspiring, but I am going to continue looking out for these special people. Because with the different generations bring different cultures, which is quite interesting in my social work profession. It's always about people and experiences, and where all of that can lead.
June 11, 2016 my 3 1/2 year old niece was a flower girl in her 2nd cousin's wedding. (Funny thing about this couple, BOTH of their names are Alex. LOL) Yea, apparently, my youngest brother's two kids have a 2nd cousin named Alex on their mom's side, and a 1st cousin named Alex on their father's side, which happens to be my son.
She sure looks adorable in this picture, doesn't she?