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April Jeppson: Happy 50th anniversary, Mom and Dad

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

 

Today is my parents’ 50th anniversary. Not the day I am writing this, but the day the paper is published. Yes, Oct. 31, Halloween, is the day my parents got married. My mother does not dress like Elvira and my father does not look like Rob Zombie. They are just two normal people who chose an available Saturday at the church they wanted to get married at.

Fifty years. Wow. I remember going to people’s 50th anniversary parties as a child. These were grandparents. They were old. I was always trying to do the math to figure out how old they were when they got married — 18, 20 — they seemed so young. I also remember thinking that maybe I would not make it to my 50th anniversary because I was not sure if I would be able to get married that fast. Or if I would even want to get married that young.

April Jeppson

Knowing that my parents’ anniversary was coming has changed my perspective a bit. Yes, my folks are grandparents, but they are not the old people that I thought they would be by now. Sure, my father is 70, but 70 means something different to me now. After being married for 16 years, being married means something different to me too.

My father is the best storyteller on the planet. Every story, every time. If you have heard him tell it before, I promise you, it gets better over time. My mother has a quick wit. Growing up, humor was always in our household.  I knew I needed to find someone I could laugh with and would not mind it if they laughed at me, too.

My mother stayed home with us when we were little. As I grew up, my father was laid off during the winter, and he would get us ready for school and prepare the dinners. He would go fishing, and she would work in the garden. They would both stay busy during the day contributing in one way or another, and at night, we would all enjoy dinner together. They were a team, and it was not until I was looking for a partner of my own that I realized how not everyone is a team player.

Being that they were married on Halloween, the day always holds a special place in my heart. We all dressed up, even my parents. As I got older, my folks would go out for dinner, and I would be in charge of passing out candy to the kids. I would wear my costume and require my high school friends to do the same. We would watch a movie and take turns with the trick-or-treaters. I actually met my husband at a church Halloween party. I was so impressed with the effort he put in to his costume. We danced, played games and started dating the next day. Little did he know that love for Halloween would make me feel at home.

I love my mother and my father so much. They gave me a solid foundation. I know they struggled. I have only been married 16 years, and I have experienced struggles. I cannot imagine what 50 years has been like. They put whatever difficulties they were going through aside, and they focused on being great parents and great role models. I have watched them improve as people, and they really are an inspiration to my brother and me. They have given me so much to strive for. Mom, Dad, if you are reading this — I love you. And I cannot wait to see what your costumes look like tonight!

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.