It was the summer of ’69 for the Apollo 11 mission, and a lovely day in November, for two young love birds who got married. What a great year.
My Father Jim, aka Albert, met my beautiful mom at a party at his sister Carol's house. Linda, who was dating someone at the time, quickly broke up with her boyfriend soon after meeting my Dad. Later that year, my Mom's sister Joan had a party. She brought along my Mother and made sure my Dad was going to be there. The rest may I say is history.
Mom came from a family of 10 children (one set of twins), Dad came from a family of 6. (2 sets of twins). Their family was everything to them.
They got married in Stanstead, the eastern townships of Quebec. It was a beautiful big church to hold such an occasion. A reception followed at the local Legion with a party afterward at my mom's family farm.
Shortly after, along came my brother Kevin, and then me. As both sides of the family expanded, memories were made. There were rodeos, square dancing, horseback riding, hayrides, and cross country skiing. So much fun, a lot of O’Keefe beer and laughs.
It was a good life, living in St-Hippolyte, Quebec. Growing up in the Laurentians taught me to appreciate the beauty of nature, love the simplicity of life, and the importance of family.
Mom and Dad had their share of hard times. Didn’t everyone? There was always love though, and that blue truck that picked up everyone every Sunday morning for baseball. It didn’t matter what was going on, there was always time for Sunday baseball, and popsicles after.
I could go on and on about the wonderful life my parents gave us. 50 years is a long time of memories to talk about.
Joanne, my wonderful sister in law, and I had wine.
Isn't that how great ideas get started?
Over maybe a bottle of wine or two, we started putting together ideas for a surprise party for my parents. I honestly thought, there is no way we will surprise them.
One year of planning and the time just flew by. Where to have the event, where to get the food, who was going to do music etc. So much to do.
The part I love the most about this party is that everyone stepped up and helped. It was not one person, everyone played a part. I have to say though, without Joanne and Kevin's connections in Montreal, this party wouldn’t have been so successful. They know everyone. Whatever we needed for the party, they knew people.
We held the event at John Abbott College in Baie D'urfe, Quebec. Sean, my husband and I went down a couple of days before the party to get the final details organized with Kevin and Joanne.
The cafeteria at John Abbott, beautiful even before we decorated, was transformed into a gorgeous sparkling room with sunflowers and gold shimmering table accents.
Under the guise of an award ceremony for Joanne, we all walked up the stairs with Mom and Dad and into the cafeteria. 70 of their closest family and friends anxiously waited inside for us to walk in, as we did, the room erupted in cheers and "Happy Anniversary". They were shocked. We did it.
The food was amazing, desserts even better and the Tiramisu anniversary cake was nothing short of incredible. Joanne did a terrific job putting all the food together.
Anne Murray's “May I Have This Dance” brought Mom and Dad onto the dance floor to start the evening. So many great songs from the Beach Boys, YMCA to the Little Bitty by Allan Jackson. A great time was had. I am not sure I have danced that much in 15 years.
Family from the east, from the west and everywhere in between made it. Some families couldn't make it and they were missed, but we knew they shared the same love and admiration for my parents as we all do.
There is one thing that stood out for me that evening. It was love. It was 50 years of love that my parents have had for each other, and everyone there had been a part of that. 50 years is a long time. If you ask Mom and Dad, they would likely say it has flown by.
Kevin and I are lucky. We had an amazing childhood, and our kids have been a privilege to grow up and love them just as much as we do.
“All is you need is love
All you need is love.
All is you need is love, love.
Love is all you need”
The Beatles 1967.
Love ya Mom and Dad.