Today would have been 56 years.
It’s not one of the “big anniversaries” – the ones with the 0’s at the end, or sometimes the ones with the 5’s. There’s always something to do with those anniversaries – they come and they go and people notice them and sometimes there are parties and that’s just how it is. 56 is a kind of random number that way. An in-between sort of number, the kind that often gets overlooked.
It’s a good number, though, for all that.
My parents were married in 1963, so you can check my math if you’d like. They’d been high school sweethearts – cutest couple of their graduating class, according to the yearbook – and had stayed together afterward, as my mom went off to college and my dad went into the Navy. It was, by all accounts, a lovely wedding.
Over the years they had two sons, one apartment, two houses, a handful of jobs, an indeterminate number of cats. They traveled. They stayed home. They did all of that together, and you always knew that’s how it ought to be.
My friends would sometimes visit them even when I wasn’t there. I never worried about how they would be treated. They were welcomed and made part of the family, of course.
My dad passed away three years ago now. It seems like just yesterday. It seems like a thousand years ago. I don’t try to explain how that works. Some things about time are beyond the scope even of a professional historian. My mom is still here to celebrate, though. It is, after all, something to celebrate.
I still like to think of it as my parents’ anniversary. Today will always be that.
My parents taught me many things, and how to be in a relationship was just one of them. They were and remain my role models.
Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.