This weekend was a joyous occasion for my entire family.
On Saturday, we celebrated my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary with a surprise party in Ava, Mo at the Lion’s Club. More than 90 people showed up to join in the fun. I heard from so many people what an accomplishment 40 years of marriage is in today’s life and how proud and happy they were for my family.
This is so true. Being a happy married couple for 40 years isn’t as easy task. Here are some words I had for my parent’s at the party.
First of all, congratulations, mom and dad.
Forty years of doing anything is a long time, and forty years of a happy married life is really quite remarkable.
You know, even though things have changed in so many ways since your wedding day, more than 5 million people still get married in this country every year.
And I believe one reason they still choose to do that is because they've seen people like you two demonstrate how well it can work.
My brothers and I have gone through so many different stages, changing ideas and goals while searching for what we wanted out of life. Like when dad found out Mike and David were drag racing the fifty-five car. And needless to say their keys to the car were taken away quite quickly and I had partners on the school bus, my brothers.
Mom and dad you both were always ready to help us at all times when we asked. Just like all the times I would come home from college my freshmen year with 10 loads of laundry and somehow by the time I got ready to leave on Sunday to drive back to college all my clothes were clean and folded…thank you mom.
It must have seemed like at times your kids would never follow one straight path. I have some many stories that I could say here, but will refrain because finally all three of us are finally on the path to success, because you both supported our decisions, even when you knew they weren’t always the right decisions at the time.
Now that we are all three grown and we know what we are doing and what paths we want our lives to follow, we can only show you our extreme appreciation for your support by being true to all the morels and values that you tried to teach us, through the years.
Thank you for standing by and letting us make our own mistakes, even if we had to make them a couple of times before finally learning our lessons. You both were there when we needed a hand to help us back up.
You were always there to help us when times were rough. Like cattle workings on the Bar 5 Ranch that ended with some yelling because someone let the wrong cow out the gate...you know how it goes…we are supposed to read each other minds, right dad?
You were always there to laugh or cry with us when we needed your understanding. Oh, by the way dad I still swear it was David that busted a hole in Grandma’s green globe lamp, not me. He started it, I swear!
But most important you were always there to love us and we want to assure you that we will always be here to love you both. You have watched all three of us grow up, graduate, marry, buy our first homes, start our own jobs, raise children or dogs in my case, and through everything you have been wonderful parents and friends to Dave, Mike and me.
Forty years of marriage isn’t an easy task. But you both make it look effortless…
It takes compassion, understanding, compromising even when you think you are right, making up after a disagreement, listening to each other, keeping that spark alive, working together to raise your children, knowing when to let go when your children are grown-up, but mainly making a marriage last for forty years takes love. You both have shown your family and friends what true love is and we thank you for that.
At the party our family friend, Grant Haden, also gave a toast to my beautiful parents and my grandmother Golden Hart. I want to thank him for his kind and thoughtful words about my family.
We also rented a big screen tv to show a Baldwin family video that showed photos starting from my parent’s births, all the way to present day. The video included photos of my parent’s growing up, their wedding photos, the births of each one of their children and all of us growing up and marrying, grandkids and a video clip from each one of our families.
I remember looking at my parent’s halfway through the video and they were hugging one another and they both had the happiest looks on their faces! Watching them was true enjoyment.
I’ve never seen my parent’s look so happy before. Smiles, tears and laughter all night. I’m so proud to call myself a Baldwin and I’m even prouder of the family that I have been fortunate to be apart of for 25 years. I hope that one day that I will be able to say that I have been married for 40 years to my best friend and husband, Charlie. Watching my parents is an inspiration to my husband and me and I hope that today you all will give thanks to your parents for all they have done for you and yours.
I'll have a group shot of the entire family later on....I'm waiting on it from one of my brothers.