Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Emerald Anniversary... by Barbara (Ruth)

In nineteen hundred and fifty-six
A guy had fun taking some pics
Of a couple that newly married were.
Oh! How they all admired her!

I wrote that and about 20 additional stanzas back in 1981. The resulting poem was my present to my parents on their 25th anniversary. My friend Kelly did beautiful calligraphy for me, and I read the whole thing out to my family. It's hard to believe that was 30 years ago, and tomorrow is the 55th anniversary of my parents' wedding day.
May 19, 1956. Southminster United Church in Ottawa, ON.

They met, so the story goes, in 1954 at a drive-in theatre in Fredericton, NB. Mum had paint in her hair, and met Dad through her sister, whose husband was a good friend of Dad's. Two weeks later, Mum knew that she would marry my Dad. 
Their engagement picture, taken in Kingston, ON.

The reception at my Grandmother's house in Ottawa, ON. 
Honeymoon in Bermuda!

My Mum made ALL those dresses!

Don't they look like movie stars?

My parents' anniversary has always been celebrated with a minimum of fuss. Dad used to give Mum one red rose for every 10 years, and one yellow rose for every single year. (Yes, this means she only got an even dozen roses on her 39th and 48th anniversaries, but she liked the sentiment.) We had a party on their 30th, but other than that, they prefer to celebrate on their own. Yet no matter how much they try to keep things low key, one or more of their daughters will sing the dreaded "Happy Anniversary" song over and over and over again. Today my sister Janet helped Dad buy some roses, and will no doubt sing to them with gusto when she visits them tomorrow.

I don't want to write a big long post about what their 55 years have been like. After all, what do I know of the realities of their marriage? I do know they raised four successful daughters, built warm and loving homes in Hawkesbury (near Ottawa, ON), Monroe (near NYC, NY), and Mississauga (near Toronto, ON). They both have had more than their fair share of sickness, but also lots of health. And although they started of "for poorer", now with 3 sons-in-law and 7 grandchildren, they certainly feel "for richer".

Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad! I hope it's a wonderful day full of warm memories, roses, and maybe even a little sunshine (if Mother Nature would only cooperate!)

xoxo Love, R.


  1. Very very nice Ruth!! I am going to read it again! I wish I had remembered about the code for the roses..............oh well! I'll be sure to sing the song tomorrow!

  2. Gee, that's really nice, Ruth...and I love the pictures...particularly of the one of them sitting on the picnic table. What a nice blessing you were/are to their 55-year marriage!

  3. What wonderful memories you have shared here and I am amazed at your mom for making all the dresses for her wedding. What a gift!
    I zoned in on the fact that your mom knew after two weeks she would marry your dad. I felt the same way when I met Sam. You just know.
    What a beautiful partnership they share; one that is such a rare example in today's world. You are lucky to have grown up in that secure love.
    Thanks for sharing this,Ruth.

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your parents. I love all of those old photos. And you are such a poet!

  5. Your parents are adorable- and what a lovely wedding! You look a lot like your dad. Great post!