Pale blue lacy socks and white straw shoes embellished with flowers dressed up my feet. On top of my curled, bouncy hair rested a crown of flowers and ribbon. In my white gloved tiny hands, I clutched a basket of red rose petals.
Fifty years ago today, I was six years old and couldn’t wait to fulfill the important duty I had. Wedding day had arrived for my beloved oldest sister and her handsome young cowboy and I served as her flower girl.
I viewed my job of sprinkling rose petals down the church aisle for my beautiful sister-bride as a serious assignment. Our mother had lovingly made, ironed and starched a cloth aisle runner for the occasion, and I carefully deposited each flower petal, one at a time, just so on that avenue of pristine white.
That is one memory I have of my oldest sister’s wedding day. I recall gazing with awe at her because she looked like a princess in her beautiful, lacy hoop-skirted bridal gown and fingertip veil.
I remember not being too pleased with brother-in-law’s little brother, the ring bearer, who in my eyes just did not know how to do anything properly. I knew we should follow suit like the rest of the bridal party and depart the church sanctuary arm in arm after the ceremony ended. He apparently did not, so I grabbed his arm (even though I disliked him) and marched him back down the aisle with me.
I remember it was oh, so cold that evening as we traveled to the reception hall where we ate cake and ice cream and drank punch. Weddings were a lot simpler back then, no elaborate dinner menu, no live band or DJ spinning tune after tune, no over-the-top decorations, but what a fun party I thought it was!
And I remember that when it was time for my sister and her new husband to depart for their honeymoon, I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t take me along! I cried that night because my sister/bed buddy left me.
We lived in a two-bedroom house at the time and all three of us girls shared one bedroom. Oldest sister and I also shared a bed and I missed her that night, so much that I took her high school senior picture to sleep with me.
It seems almost incomprehensible that 50 years have come and gone since that day. But today my beloved sister and the man, whom I have come to love over all these years like a brother, are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.
They have reached the golden years - retirement. As I write this, they are basking in the sunshine and warmth of a southwestern desert where they are enjoying a few months away from their home. And I wish them a beautiful day.
I hope today they bask not just in the warmth of the sun, but also in the warmth of knowing they have accomplished much – 50 years of marriage, two loving daughters, grandchildren and a life together - not always perfect, full of ups and downs - but still together for half a century. How many American married couples reach that milestone?
On this day of golden anniversary wishes, my hope and prayer for them is that they may take a moment to reflect back on their five decades together and be thankful for each blessing they’ve been granted.
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary, beloved sister and brother! May your hearts be filled with affection, contentment, peace and health. I love you both so much!
I am very grateful for both of you on this 20th page of Chapter One in my book of Opportunity.