Happy Fiftieth Anniversary! · 9 February 2013

My parents have been married for fifty years. Fifty years!

I called them up to congratulate them. My siblings and I sent them a present. I even sent them a card. But I cannot believe I let such a huge milestone pass without a blog post.

As I thought about what to write, I could not help but think of a couple short but true quips: They are certainly individuals, but they are also an inseparable pair. When we were growing up, they had a full house (which included more than just us four kids) and they filled it with love.

But the more I thought about it, the more I decided I needed to do more than just post something silly. I figured I could at least write something about the lessons I have learned from my parents over the past forty-nine years I have known them.

In today’s society, it seems like the sanctity of marriage is not so sanctified as it used to be. Nowadays, people get married for a time just to try things out. If it does not work, it is no big deal. It is not really a commitment. After all, vows are just words that can be taken lightly. My parents did not subscribe to such notions. In fact, they taught us just the opposite.

My parents still believe that a deal can be sealed with a handshake. Not that they view their marriage as a deal made long ago, but they are people of their word. Promises are not made lightly, if at all, and vows are not broken. This notion of honesty and integrity is part of their character. It is the way they brought us up.

While I believe that character is much of what has kept them together all these years, I also know that God had His hand in it. He brought them together. He helped them through the good times and bad. He still draws them closer to each other as they draw closer to Him. They may not have said so, but they taught us those lessons too.

As we were growing up, our house was always the place where kids gathered. I am sure part of that was because it is the best way to keep an eye on your own kids, but part of it was because they are parents to more than just their own four kids. They had plenty of love to go around. So much so that many of our friends thought of them as a second set of parents. Even today, some of our friends still call them “Mom and Dad.”

My wife says that one of the ways to be a successful parent is to help each child understand that he is the favorite. No matter how many kids you have. That is what our parents did all these years. We all know we are the favorite. (Or at least second, next to our sister.) And like I said, they let more than just the four of us know how special we are. They taught us to show people they are loved.

I could go on and on about how my parents taught us to be good parents and good spouses, but they would deny teaching us much about either. They would wonder when we heard such things come from their lips. Of course, the words might not have been said but we learned those lessons from living with them. We saw what being a good husband or wife was. We experienced good parenting. I know it sounds corny, but we learned how to be loving people because we have loving parents.

When it comes down to it, our parents showed us the secret to a long and happy marriage. Love, honor, and cherish each other. Just like the words say.

Then, love, honor, and cherish the kids when they come along. It is the secret to good parenting. They taught us that too.

One day, I am sure I will be sitting down writing something about my own fiftieth wedding anniversary. When I do, I hope that I have taught my children as much about being a spouse and parent as my parents have taught me. I hope that they will be able to say that I showed them how to love God, to love each other, and to love their kids. I hope the record shows that I have learned those lessons my parents taught us. Even though I missed the opportunity to write about their fiftieth wedding anniversary last weekend.

Happy fiftieth anniversary Mom and Dad.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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