This weekend marked the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Maxine and Frank. Glowing with the same strong sense of love, comfort and romance as the day they met. Over the years, with added wit, sarcasm, nagging, laughter, tears, friendship and tolerance to the mix, Maxine and Frank has developed a left of comfort and caring that we can all take lessons. On Friday night, in front of friends and family, they danced to their first dance in the living room of the townhouse with gleaming smiles, was a testimony to the strength of their love.
As we stayed up, into the late hours of the evening and talked about the “good old days”, we heard four generations blend together as stories of World War II and IPod technology mixed in a medley of dialogue. Over the years our society has dealt with racism, antisemitism, hatred, recession and family struggle. It was refreshing to hear such stories of how individual couples dealt with their surroundings to persevere and thrive based on the strength of their feelings for one another.
All too often we think too much about aging and death and lose focus on the moment. When we grow up and start understanding our surroundings, vanity and youth take over our perceptions and once that is lost, many slip into a pit of despair as they feel they have been cheated away their youth, and there is nothing left but to wait. Life is about understanding your passions and weighing them against your limitations. For Frank and Maxine, their limitations are their strength. To the two of them, life is part of what we all accept. We will slow down and be limited on what we can do but, they harness that and make it work to their advantage. Seeing them with their daughter and grandchildren, you would have thought they just drank seven energy drinks. The days started early and ended late with Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Jamestown, dining and taking in so much of their surroundings.
The week, like many major milestone events was an diverse mix of backgrounds, ages, and cultures coming together with the single goal of celebrating a life of love. Having Maxine and Frank in my life since birth, it was easy to slip back into conversations of reflection on memories that we all shared. I feel we all need that in our lives from time to time. It reveals that we shared the same pains and rejoice in the same celebrations, but it takes a major event to open up our hearts and share.
What is the great love story? Is it meeting by chance in a random setting or making the grand gesture in front of a large crowd or seeing someone for the first time and knowing you want to spend the rest of your life with them. It is all of the above, but the greatest testimony of love is not a single moment, but each and every day you spend together, learning from each other and sharing.
I was invited to spend a week celebrating the matrimony of Maxine and Frank and instead, ended up getting a life lesson from my family and my extended family.
Congratulations Maxine and Frank and thank you for letting us be a part of your life.