Today is my parents’ 42nd anniversary. And it’s a hard day. While they were exceptionally lucky to have found each other, to have made a life together that they were both happy with, and to have created the incomparable me (wink), they were not lucky in the fact that they will not grow old together. They are, really, no longer a married couple. My mother is much more a parent to my father now than a wife. With my father now in hospice, we recognize that this may be their last anniversary, but it’s too hard to celebrate. As my mom put it, it’s sad that this is what their “adventure” has come to. Their anniversary has become a poignant reminder of what they’ve lost.
But while we can’t celebrate, it seems wrong not to somehow acknowledge it. So today, instead of wishing them a “happy anniversary”, I will just wish them an “anniversary.” I will pay tribute to the life they built, the laughter with which they filled our home, the struggles they overcame, and the struggles ahead.