Happy 25th (+1 year and a few months) anniversary to these two beautiful humans that I get to call Mom and Dad. We took these photos on the day of their 25th wedding anniversary, which I am embarrassed to share was June 20, 2017. Due to a few life curve balls and some fights with technology, these are just now finished and ready to post. But their love is timeless, and I am a firm believer that captivating marriages are always worth celebrating.
About 28 years ago, my 20-something parents were (separately) celebrating the wedding of my Uncle Keith and Aunt Pammy, the wedding of my dad’s brother and my mom’s best friend. During the reception festivities, my mom caught the bouquet and my dad caught the garter, in Hollywood fashion. Though both had attended the wedding with other dates, there is photo evidence of my mom sitting in a chair holding a bouquet of flowers and my dad kneeling to put a garter on her leg. A year and a half later, these two were married, and twenty-eight years later, a photo of a young man putting a garter on hot, perm-haired woman hangs in their stairwell.
Growing up with these two as parents, I heard a lot of “Your parents are still so in love” and “I want a marriage like your parent’s when I grow up.” I used to laugh and kind of shrug it off (parental PDA was one of my top 5 cringe-inducing spectacles as a teen), but secretly, I had the same hope as all of my friends – I wanted to one day experience a marriage of radiating love, fighting fair, and using laughter as fuel for day-to-day survival. And I can attest that the unmistakable love between the Shores is as real at home as it is in restaurants and on pool decks and at family holidays.
“I will be here when you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind,
I will listen and
I will be here when the laughter turns to cryin’
Through the winning, losing and tryin’
We’ll be together ’cause I will be hereTomorrow morning if you wake up,
And the future is unclear
I will be here
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetime’s are made for years
So, I will be hereI will be here and you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we’re older,
I will hold you and
I will be here to watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be hereI will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to meI will be here”
~ Steven Curtis Chapman
*This is the tune they danced to on their wedding day.
Though the list is too long to document in this post, here are some of the things I most admire about the marriage of my parents:
My dad simply cannot go to the grocery store without returning with a fresh bouquet of flowers for my mom. My mom still flirts and belly laughs with my dad as if she is a teenager whose just discovered she’s falling in love. My dad supported my mom’s dream of opening a swim school with, “I’d rather sleep in a gutter knowing that we chased the dream than stay comfy in a house wondering ‘what if?'” My mom never ceases to bounce around offering encouragements to her guy, even when he is visibly irritated by something. My dad will bravely combat my mom’s stubbornness with doubled-efforts of sternness when he is concerned about her health or well-being. My mom will skip up to the bottom stair when my dad walks in the door, waiting for her welcome home hug and kiss (there is about a one-foot difference between them so the bottom stair momentarily alleviates the height difference). But more than anything, my mom and dad are so beautifully and disgustingly in love after 26 years of marriage that strangers and friends alike never fail to take notice. And I think our world could use some more marriages like that.
To my favorite parents, these photos are but a small glimpse of the powerhouse (and attractive) couple that you are. Thank you for modeling what it looks like to show up for each other, even when it is hard, and for the living reminder that choosing to love is always worth it.
Cheers to 25 (+1 year and a few months) more!