Look like? I knew I’d never see it for my own self. I was smugly proud of making it to half that number of years. By the way, smugness is not a trait for which I am proud.
On Christmas Day, though, my dad and stepmother celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. It was quiet. There was no big party or formal gathering. We all just dropped by the farm in singles or scattered groups. My sisters and I came by twice.
We sat around in the kitchen and den. We looked over our Picks from the night before. I traded a pair of pears paintings for a huge clear glass globular bowl filled with North Carolina pine cones, ironically, and old red glass Christmas bulbs. We ate leftover scalloped oysters, roast beef, salad. We drank coffee before switching to wine on the second visit.
We girls and one of our brothers, who takes direction well, made video recordings telling Mom and Dad what pieces of advice they’d given us which had been our “go-tos” over the years. The advice ranged from good hand washing practice to stick-to-it-tiveness to gratitude for encouragement of life-long-learning.
We listened to the story of their meeting and beginning courtship. An “older” man, nearly thirty, who was divorced with a young daughter, met and fell in love with a young college woman. She took a chance, and they built a beautiful, long life together.
What does 60 years of marriage look like? It’s filled with laughter, respect, gratitude, devotion, kindness. It’s the best Christmas gift ever.