Yesterday my wife, Susan, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. What a delight to spend the day with family and friends! In the midst of the celebration, we received a remarkable surprise — a gift from Susan’s three sisters. The gift is pictured below, a beautiful set of doves. And the doves come with a 25 year old story and a story for the future waiting to be written. In short, they represent a new family tradition.
These doves were originally a gift from the four daughters to Susan’s parents on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary… and that is only the beginning. Here is what the sisters wrote to accompany the doves:
Dear Susan and Bart,
To honor you on your Golden Anniversary and as a tribute to lasting love and committment, we want to start a new Weaver tradition.
We are presenting these doves to you and to the descendants of the original recipients, Mauri and Peggy Weaver on the occasion of their Golden Anniversaries. Thee beautiful doves, symbols of peace and love, were originally given to Mauri and Peggy, “Honey” and “Daddy” to us, on June 12, 1987 by their four daughters, Cynthia…, Judi…, Susan… and Janet.
Following this new tradition, the doves would be given on their Golden Anniversaries to the following descendants: [a list follows of seven couples (children and grandchildren of the Weaver sisters), with the projected dates of their Golden Anniversaries.]
Susan and I will pass the doves on to Cynthia’s son and daughter-in-law in 2024. The other dates on the list project out to 2060, with the added note “Other names and dates to be added.” This is truly a gift that will keep on giving as the doves get passed from each each couple to the next.
Many family and friends who were not able to be with us sent cards and letters of celebration. Lots of memories were shared. Most touching was a note from my dear friend, Dian, which was read as a benediction for our luncheon gathering with family and friends:
Love and best wishes on your 50th Anniversary! To paraphrase Tom Loder’s prayer:Gracious God, thank you for this day and for the mysterious and serendipitous way you have woven together the lives of Bart and Susan. Thank you for their families, and for their friends who celebrate and bless this day. Thank you for their laughter and tears, thoughts and dreams, slammed doors and open arms, hard decisions and gentle caresses. O God, be with them in all their tomorrows as you have been with them in all their yesterdays. Most especially grant them to continue to root their love in trust of your love, and to know that theirs are not the only resources at work in their relationship. Amen.
To which I can only add Amen! and Amen!