Hello everyone and thank you for joining us as we reminisce about a beautiful love story that began a little over fifty years ago. It means so much that you have traveled from all over to make it here today to share memories with my Mom and Dad. It shows the amount of love that is in this room. Your presence is not only a declaration of how blessed Mom & Dad are with enduring friendships, but it is also a testament to the type of people you are. You all make wonderful friends. There is a saying that goes, “to love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides”. Maybe that would explain all the warmth in this room.
Now, for the few of you that don't know me and for those of you whom I haven't seen since I was a lot younger ... my name is _________________.
I don't want to speak for long tonight, but there are some important things I'd like to say. First of all, congratulations, Mom and Dad. Fifty years of doing anything is a long time, and fifty years of happy married life is really quite remarkable.
In our lifetimes, we are gifted with a limited number of truly "landmark moments". They start small enough, like learning to tie your shoe or learning to drive a car or throwing your graduation cap into the air. But then, as we grow, they grow too. They grow in power and significance. There is that perfect landmark moment when you look into the eyes of the most loving, caring, and giving individual that you've ever known and realize you've found true love. A special love of longing that allows you to smile from the heart. A love that is a companion and melts your very soul. That moment and the commitment which follows should be celebrated to its fullest. And so, my brother(s) and I wanted to ensure that this particular moment, 50 plus years ago, in the lives of our Mom and Dad does not pass unrecognized.
Some of you can remember looking back to where Mom and Dad began their relationship. You may have had the opportunity to see them as they were in the beginning . . . as they anticipated the days ahead of them, wondering what they would find in each other. This anniversary especially, is the perfect time to slowly leaf through those memories they have made together. They are the moments that brought them to where they are today, still anticipating, still writing the pages that they will remember tomorrow.
There is a saying that goes “Tell me whom you love and I will tell you who you are.” Mom, because of your grace and beauty it isn't hard to see why Dad fell in love with you. You were especially attentive to all the details which make a family thrive and our house became a home every time you walked though the front door. You gave us life and let us live. You kept us all happy, rich with love and fun. The nature of our mother-daughter relationship has changed as I have grown up. It has grown just as I have grown, and today, you take your place as one of my best friends and I am so thankful for that. Just as when I was a child, you are still there when I look over my shoulder for a reassuring presence.
And Dad there is something captivating about your obvious affection for Mom. Your patience and kindness is something that has kept us all grounded. You stood up as one of our biggest protectors when life always got to be overwhelming. You had all the answers at all the right times, and even when you didn't, you never failed to pretend you did. There is something special between a father and a daughter that seems to defy explanation. You have always been my confidante and my best friend. I have said it before, you are the person upon which I measure all others. You have always inspired me to move forward and continue to strive to be my best. You have always been a great influence on my life, and I am very thankful that I have such a role model to learn from.
Amidst all the complexities of life, love and family, there is an endearing lesson to be learned from the simplicity of your love for each other. The world has changed in so many ways since your wedding and yet, people are still choosing to get married. And I believe one reason is because they have seen people like you two demonstrate how well it can work.
And, it's no wonder that our family's love continues to grow. Because of the constant encouragement and support from both of you, I stand here today as the woman you have helped me become. I am so very proud to be your daughter. So proud to be a result of your union . . . a reflection of your love for each other.
I thought of closing by wishing you the very best; but then, you already have each other. There's a lot more to say, but we are here to celebrate, not listen to me.