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My Parents Fiftieth Anniversary – What Have We Learned?

Go 50

The next lucky number is... (Image via Wikipedia)

This weekend we are having a dinner party for my parents fiftieth anniversary. You should stop by.

Do you even have anyone you’ve known for fifty years? Me neither. I’ve known my parents for forty-nine years, but I didn’t really have anything productive to say for the first few years. Some might argue that I still don’t.

But now, I seem to have something to say about everything. I suppose I should have something to say about my parents on this big occasion. So, what lessons are there in my parents fifty years?

Poster for Babb's production of Mom and Dad, s...

There's a movie. Who knew? (Image via Wikipedia)

When you have kept a roof over your heads since the Kennedy administration you can legitimately say things like “when you are under my roof you’ll do it my way.”

Taking care of business, family and yourselves for that long carries some weight. My parents established rules for me to live my life by while I was under their roof.

I am forty-nine, and I’ve had my own roof for a good number of years now. The rules have not changed for me. I follow the same ones I did when I lived with my Mom and Dad.

Establish yourself as a substantial presence in the lives of those around you. Having an apartment during the Kennedy Administration is not a prerequisite.

If you deal with any problem as just something else to fix, you can fix it.

Pensacola, Florida. Historic district museum c...

Old, broken fridge...cancer...whatever. Fix the problem. (Image via Wikipedia_

Within the past few years, both my parents were diagnosed with cancer. My Mom’s diagnosis was found to be an error after about two months. My Dad actually had cancer and beat it, because that is just the sort of thing he does.

I have never seen panic in either of them. In fact, I believe that together they cause panic in things that terrify other people.

When they each told they were ill, the discussions they had with me were calm and matter of fact. “I have cancer, here are the options, what do you think is best?” Sure there was emotion, but overall, the focus was on how our family would defeat the problem. Panic wasn’t going to help us.

Panic never helps.

Laughter helps.

A scene of Felix

Felix and my parents know. (Image via Wikipedia)

No matter what is happening in my Mom and Dad’s life, the other thing that is happening is laughter.

Not everything in those fifty years has been a Hollywood musical. They’ve dealt with the same problems every other person meets in their lives.

When those problems come up in my parents’ home, they are dealt with directly. As the problems are dealt with, the jokes start. Once the jokes start, they do not stop, even after the problem does.

Remember to laugh.

Don’t talk to strangers, but if you talk to them, they aren’t strangers.

Don't talk to strangers. However... (image via dragons&rockets.blogspot.com)

 Like any good parents, Mom and Dad taught me never to talk to strangers. Little Me took it to heart.

Older Me has noticed that my parents talk to strangers.  They are outgoing and extend kindness to those they meet. The effect that has on those they meet is amazing. People remember and care for them in ways that I don’t think my folks realize.

People who met them twenty years ago ask me about them all the time. They go to their favorite restaurants and the people there greet them happily. Many of my son’s friends in high school treated my folks as an extra set of grandparents.

So maybe both lessons are true, little ones shouldn’t talk to strangers, but the rest of us ought to take the extra steps needed to be kind to everyone we meet.

Always Say Thank You.

Thank you, Dad.

Thank you, Mom.

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42 Comments on “My Parents Fiftieth Anniversary – What Have We Learned?”

  1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    That was awesome. I am really touched by your love for your parents. And their wisdom is a gift that you received and to those who read this will.

    I’ve known some people for 50+ years. They’re not allowed to tell anyone that, though.

  2. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Oh, by the way … a couple of things I learned from my parents who are past their 50th anniversary: “We might as well be drunk as the way we are.”

    “Nature is hostile.” My mom suffers greatly from allergies to plant pollen, insect juice and the sun.

    And, from my dad: “Exercise kills.” He’s the one on the all-chocolate diet.

  3. Beautiful, Oma!

    Happy Anniversary, Oma Mom and Oma Dad! You’ve raised a wonderful son (he is a little odd, sometimes, but that’s part of his charm)!

    Wendy

  4. Wendi says:

    50 years, wow. Your parents sound like good people.

  5. We found him Captain!! says:

    Your parents are fortunate beyond words for having such a fine son as you. You are one of the most important sources of their happiness. Keep up the good work!
    The captain.

  6. Happy 50th anniversary, Oma’s Mom and Dad. What a lovely tribute to great parents.
    My parents recently celebrated 57 years of marriage, and I can relate to much of what you write about your parents.
    Sunshine

  7. Happy Anniversary, Blurty’s parents!

    Will there be cake? I only go to parties with cake. Don’t skimp on the icing.

  8. Hippie Cahier says:

    What a lovely tribute.
    Laughter helps. Perhaps the second-most profound two-word sentence ever. Thank you for this. Happy anniversary to your parents.

  9. madtante says:

    Sounds like your parents are not only great people but a great team!

  10. Congratulations to OmaMama and OmaPapa! Life lessons are best from your parents…they don’t usually say “I told you so”…they just give you that look.

  11. Katybeth says:

    Fifty years of marriage. They must have taken a lot of right turns along the way! (Michael Gartner-Life is to short)

    Congratulations to your parents!

  12. Congratulations to you mom & dad–and a very nice tribute to them.

  13. pattypunker says:

    just awwwwww. problem solvers and laughers = my kind of people.

    so now after 50 years can they pursue their list of five? kidding. sortakinda.

    happy anniversary mom and dad omawarisan!

  14. Zahara says:

    Ditto. Congratulations and Thank You to the creators of you and your sense of humor.
    My parents and the parents of my fiance have both celebrated 50 years together in the last couple years.
    Is that a bullet hole in the stranger danger sign?

  15. Jane says:

    That made the soft tears well up a bit. I love it when that happens!

    • omawarisan says:

      I’ll fix that, we’ll return to goofiness with the next post.

      Jane, I’m not sure why your comments keep getting held for moderation. I’m sorry about that, I’ll try and figure it out. It isn’t you!

  16. Happy 50th anniversary, Oma Mom and Oma Dad! You have taught Oma well. He cracks me up and is a great source of levity each week.

  17. Todd Pack says:

    I’m a day late and a dollar short, but congratulations to Mama and Papa Omawarisan!

  18. dottiemaggie says:

    Those are some solid rules to live by for sure. I learned some of them as well, though not generally from my parents…. not directly at least.
    I especially like the problem-to-fix-approach. not panicing has served me well in my profession 😉
    another solid rule I learned indirectly: know when to ask for help, and know when to offer it.

    (and, i can say without a doubt I haven’t known anyone for 50 years… and I don’t think I know anyone who has been married that long either… huge thumbs up to your folks!!)

    • omawarisan says:

      Panic is a bad, bad thing in both our jobs. I’m sure you see a lot of things where people panicking make their situation more dire.

      The party is today! They’ve been keeping up with all the congrats and thumbs up from everyone, thank you for yours!

  19. Kate says:

    Happy anniversary to your folks! I have to tell you, Oma, it comes as no surprise that your parents are amazing people. After all, they raised you and you are pretty amazing, too.

  20. […] My Parents Fiftieth Anniversary – What Have We Learned? by Omawarisan at Blurt Blog […]

  21. bronxboy55 says:

    “Once the jokes start, they do not stop, even after the problem does.”

    My family has always been the same way. I used to think it was a sign of dysfunction, and maybe it is, but somehow it seems to work.

    Beautiful post; it was a pleasure to read.

  22. […] My Dad took a pair of shoes in for repair. He’d patronized this particular shoemaker’s shop before. When he went back to pick up his repaired shoes he struck up a conversation with the business man. Why would he do that? I’ve mentioned before, my parents talk to strangers. […]


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