Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Special Anniversary

Yesterday was my parents' 28th wedding anniversary. My parents are an incredible couple. They are compassionate, strong-willed, incorrigible, spiritual, honest, self-giving, empathetic, and hard working. While their 28 years of marriage has definitely had its ups and downs, I know they wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Having put up with my brother, sister, and me, they can handle anything. I am sure of it.

Here are a few pictures I dug up of my parents back in the day:

I believe this was at their engagement party at my grandparents' house.

This was at another party in honor of their engagement.

This was at their rehearsal dinner - I love how Mom is wiping something off of Dad's face - he is a messy eater!

My parents' wedding day on June 4, 1983.

I want to share a couple of examples of their kindness and generosity.

This morning, we went to mass at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano. The sermon was given by a special guest, Most Reverend Edward Burns, the bishop of the Diocese of Juneau (in Alaska). He explained to us the challenges they face in Alaska. While Diocese of Juneau is a very small diocese consisting of around 12,000 people (approximately the same size of the congregation of the parish we attended), it is spread out on land the size of Florida. He went on to say how there are only nine priests in the diocese which means they have to travel in order to get to the church they are celebrating mass at that day. In Juneau, there is not a "church bell" that rings on the hour when it is time for mass to start. Since the celebratory priest has to get to Juneau by a small aircraft that takes off on water (he described it as a VW Beetle with wings) and weather conditions are always a factor in Juneau, mass time is whenever the people hear the aircraft land in Juneau which could be at any time of the day! I found that very interesting. Anyway, after sharing a few other stories with us about the Diocese of Juneau, he mentioned that a second money collection was going to be taken for the Diocese of Juneau since they are in desperate need of money (and our prayers). Once the collection baskets started going around, my dad took out his wallet and threw a $100 bill in the basket. He said, "We better help Alaska." He didn't think twice about donating that kind of money on the spur of the moment to this diocese in need. My parents could have used that money for so many other things. They already give annually and weekly to their parish in Texarkana as well as other parishes they visit. I found this to be so admirable and honorable. This is just one small example of how my parents are always trying to do what they can for the community and help others. They put others above themselves.

Besides celebrating their anniversary, they came to Dallas this weekend to help move my sister into her new apartment in Denton. She has moved more times than I can count on one hand, but my parents are still there for her every time to lend a hand and get her set up and started at her new place (that goes for any of us kids). They are always there if/when we need them.

I could go on and on about my parents, and I am sure I will have many more opportunities to blog about them, so I will stop there. I just hope that one day, Mark and I will be married for 28 years and have at least half of the character that my parents' do.

Having said that, here is a recap of our weekend....

Friday night, Mark and I watched Salt (with Angelina Jolie). It would have been really good if I could only have understood everything! I went to bed early to get a good night's sleep for my Saturday morning activities. Mark greeted my parents when they arrived around 11:00 pm. Saturday morning, I went for a run with a few people in my running class, then I went to play my tennis match for my USTA Ladies 3.5 league. I played line 1 doubles with Wendy Blackwell and pulled off a win. Overall, our team won 3 lines out of 5 giving us a point for Saturday's matches. My parents spent most of the day moving my sister into her new apartment in Denton. That evening, my brother and his girlfriend came into town, and we all gathered for a few celebratory toasts at my house, and then had dinner as a family at Pappas Bros Steakhouse. This was me and Mark's treat for my family in honor of my parents' 28th anniversary.  It's one of our favorite steakhouses in Dallas.  I know it was very special for them since my whole family was there - my parents, my sister, my brother (and his girlfriend, Erin), and Mark and I. We got home late (and miserably full from dinner) and crashed. Today, Sunday, we went to church, did some things around my house, and then my parents headed out to Denton to help my sister with some last minute touches on her new apartment. Mark worked most of the day yesterday, and is working all day today since there is a Mav's playoff game tonight in Dallas. Here are a few pictures from our evening:

Jeffrey arrived late afternoon.  Sonny immediately flocks to him.

My parents outside of Pappas Bros Steakhouse before dinner.

Mark and I patiently waiting for our food.

My parents were SO happy!!

The whole family (plus Jeff's girlfriend, Erin) with a special Happy Anniversary dessert.

The whole family, again, but with our belly's stuffed!!

Overall, it was a very special weekend for my parents simple because the whole family was together.  I wish it could be this way more often, but as we all know, life happens.  Best wishes to all of you married couples out there...may you be married for many, many happy years.

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