Thursday, May 26, 2016

Happily Ever After Lives On!
by Angel Smits

Today is my parents’ 58th wedding anniversary.  Holy cow!  (Congrats!)  They are currently in Blackhawk, Colorado celebrating and gambling. Probably putting a big chunk of my inheritance into the one-armed bandits.  Ha!

Hugh & Joyce Strong
     I remember celebrating my grandparents' 60th anniversary with a big open house.

Bill & Hilma Strong
  And I was a baby when my great-grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary.  This year my husband and I will hit 34 years. 
     My purpose in listing all these milestones isn’t for any accolades, though those are always nice.  But hopefully, to show the world that love and romance are still very much alive and well in our world. 
     My son, who is young and single, is surprised at how many young women he meets who don’t believe in the longevity of love, who actually have told him marriage is obsolete. 
     Poor kid, probably doomed having a romance author for a mom, but both my kids have always been taught—and I hope they believe in—the happily-ever-after type of romantic love. 
     It’s what I write about in my books, and what I love about reading romance.  And just like in real life, my characters have trials and tribulations in their lives and their relationships.  It isn’t all sunshine and roses.  My husband and I have certainly had our rough times. but we’ve worked through them and still very much love each other.  I know my parents do, and my grandparents did.  It isn’t something they can hide. 
     And while I know not everyone ends up like that—it is still very possible. 
     In our house Valentine’s Day is about the heart-shaped box of chocolates, and the pretty vase of roses.  It’s also about telling each other how much we appreciate each other.  Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Birthdays are all about that, too. 
     I know that a lot of my readers are older.  I get letters from them, plus just the aging of our population makes that a reality.  I’ve read articles about how our books compete with so many other things in the world for the young reader’s attention.  Is there a correlation? 
     My aunt gave me my first romance novel—handing my sister and I a sack of Harlequins when we were on a road-trip vacation.  I read that first book and I was hooked—both on reading the romance genre and on the idea that forever love was real. 
     Is it totally realistic?  Not always.  But fantasies and dreams are good for us all.  Plus, I read SO many romances that teach young girls (us older girls, too) about the way we can expect to be treated, about how to talk to people about things, about what is possible. 
     So maybe we need to be like my aunt, and share the joy.  Give or lend young women books that touch us, that showed us how things can be—encourage them to dream a little and expect certain things of how to be treated. 
     And to love.  Most of all be loved. 
      I’d love to hear how long people have been married, or together with their significant other.  Or tell us who gave you that first romance novel...honor the women who recognized this amazing genre before us.  Thanks, Aunt Una.  


Tammy Y said...

It will be 22 years in October for me. Happy Anniversary to both you and your parents.

Angel Smits said...

Awesome, Tammy! Congrats to you, too!!

Mary Preston said...

My parents were married for 66 years. They still held hands when out & about. As you can imagine, when my father died it almost killed our mother too.

dstoutholcomb said...

I remember when my grandparents celebrated their 50th in 1985. We had a quick party for them--we had to travel 500 miles to get there. It ended up being a bit of a family reunion. They were married until my grandma's death in 1998, almost 63 years.

My parents just celebrated 49 a few weeks ago, and my in-laws will celebrate 52 next week. We'll celebrate 24 in October.


Laney4 said...

It's our 35th next month - and the years keep getting better and better!
While moving (deleting) photos from our magnetic albums into scrapbooks, I have noticed something alarming. Every single wedding my husband and I attended between 1981 and 1992 (our marriage year until where I'm currently scrapbooking) has resulted in a divorce - EXCEPT for those from each of our respective families. I'm kind of afraid to keep scrapbooking!
On a plus note, I've learned that guys love looking at backgrounds in photos - when they have cars in the backgrounds! Many a picture has a lovely action scene or someone posing, yet eyes go automatically to the cars in the driveway or on the road, and there is much reminiscing about those good ol' days ... er ... cars! So ... now I have stopped cropping cars out of pictures, but I HAVE deleted hundreds of photos of wedding cakes (I just couldn't care about them anymore). It's about the people in the photos - or their cars, LOL.

penney said...

My husband and I meet at a Iron Maiden concert back in 1982, we dated for 3 1/2 years then got married on Oct 10th 1986. This year on Oct 10th we will have our 30th Annv. We have 2 daughters ages 20 and 21 years old. We haven't decided yet what we are going to do yet?

Angel Smits said...

Mary, what a sweet memory to have. I think the image of two hands holding is one of the most powerful and beautiful things. Hold that dear!

Angel Smits said...

Fun! Family reunions are always interesting events. I love them since it's the only time I really see some of my cousins. Congrats on your 24 years!!

Angel Smits said...

Old photos really are amazing. I have hundreds of them, but never had the nerve to do the cutting in scrapbooking, so all my scrapbooks just looked like big photo albums. Ha! So I stopped. I think what I like most about your post is the fact that your husband actually is a part of it--as a viewer. How cool is that. And you've taken his interests into consideration. No wonder you two are still together. Good for you!!

Angel Smits said...

Iron Maiden, now that's something different. "How we met stories" always fascinate me. It's a wonder how people come into our lives. It's just a split second thing. Whatever you decide to do to celebrate, I'm sure you'll have fun. Any concerts going on? :)

JackieW said...

Congratulations to your family. May they enjoy many more anniversaries

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