I am well into my second week of summer and I am elated to say that my break has been full of nothing but sunshine and happiness. I am loving every moment of being home with my family, back in the south where I belong, and thanks to Skype, Facebook, and the lovely invention of the iPhone, I am still able to keep in touch with all my friends from school. I am so spoiled and getting the best of both worlds right now :)
As if I wasn't blessed enough, next week at this time I will be enjoying the sunshine from a Hawaiian beach as I celebrate the 25th anniversary of the most amazing parents a girl could ask for. For the last year my parents have been planning a vow renewal (more like a second wedding) that the whole family gets to participate in and it is finally here! The love that I have watched my parents share throughout my life and especially over the last couple months is my glimpse of hope this week.
With my younger sisters still in school and my older sisters not yet home for summer, I have gotten to spend a lot of time with my mom these last two weeks. As we spend our days shopping and getting ready for the wedding with last minute preparations, my mom has been sharing stories about her and my dad that I hadn't heard before. I have learned so much more about my parent's relationship in the past two weeks and it is like watching them fall in love all over again. The way my mom talks about my dad, and vice versa the way my dad tells stories about my mom brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I can only hope that one day I will meet a man who loves me as much as my dad loves my mom.
25 years is a hell of a long time and the fact that my parents have been through so much together over these years and somehow ended up together and happy at the end is amazing to me and brings me so much hope. In society today it makes me so sad to see all the divorces and to hear people talk about how true love and the sanctity of marriage doesn't really exist as much anymore. My parents are the prime example to contradict all the people that believe that is true. 25 years of marriage, 25 years of love, 6 daughters, and 2 beautiful grandchildren later, my mom will be walking down the aisle again and I am ecstatic that I will get to be there to witness it.
My parents have been and will always be my rock. They are the strongest, kindest, most accepting people I know and without their guidance I truly do not know where I would be today. Through every mistake I have made, every hardship I have faced, and every moment I have celebrated they have been there holding my hand, wiping my tears, cheering me on. Blessed is the only word that can fully describe how lucky I am to have grown up with them together and happily married. I have THE greatest example about how a relationship should be and how a man should treat a woman (and vice versa). I have seen their fights, I have heard my mom talk about how my dad is "such an ass," and I have watched my dad shake his head and roll his eyes at my mom. More than that though I see them still hold hands in the car just because they can, I babysit the girls on weekends because they want to go out to dinner just the two of them, and I watched as my mom tried to convince my dad to let her show him her wedding dress because he was "her best friend" and she was too excited to wait. They have already taught me so much about love and life and they continue to amaze me with the strength and depth of their relationship. They give me so much hope about the future and that someday I will find a man to be my best friend and husband for 25 years and counting.
Congratulations mom and dad, I love you more than you will ever know! Cheers to a life full of love and happiness and to celebrating that on the beaches of Maui. Aloha!