These are my parents today, a little tired toward the end of a wonderful party celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Thanks to a few great friends who really helped to pull it all together, we had a lovely party for them with live music and a luncheon with special dark chocolate cake, wine, and a toast.
I don't often speak in public, but was asked to say a few words. Well, you know how that goes—how does one sum up a marriage that had its beginnings in 1958 and has lasted over half a century? I've included some of my speech here:
"We're taking some time today to mark a very special occasion: 50 years of commitment to marriage.
"When I was first asked to give the toast today, I was seriously alarmed. You see, I've never been married, so I don't know the first thing about what it takes to hold two lives together as one. Unlike my parents, I don't know anything about the give-and-take, the compromises, the selfless giving and joyful receiving that comprise a true and lasting marriage.
"In the movies, marriage is usually portrayed in one of two ways: it's either a fairy-tale ending to a romance, or a hopeless struggle between two people trapped in a miserable existence, with no way out. Well, thank goodness, Al and Lenore Miller do not have the Hollywood version of marriage; they have the real thing.
"They have 50 years of loving commitment to each other. My parents have had great joy in their marriage, but they've also seen each other through some tough times. They've had their fair share of arguments. Theirs is not a perfect, sanitized version of marital bliss.
"To me, the important thing is that my parents know how to love each other through it all, good times and bad, faithfully, without wavering. And we are here to celebrate that, to raise a glass to two people who not only took their marriage vows but kept them, too, for 50 years—and that is no small thing.
"So here's to Al and Lenore Miller: We toast you and honor your commitment to one another, we celebrate with you as a community that has been deeply touched by your lives here in Idyllwild. You have shown us, by your example, what a true and lasting marriage really is. Here's to Al and Lenore!"