On the 50th Anniversary, There is Love
The celebration was very private and was tempered with mixed emotions. The gathering of an intimate few of family members toasted the couple at their 50th wedding anniversary in a cozy church room, on the outskirts of the nation's Capitol.
Many who reach this milestone are regaled in ceremonial pageantry. The 50th anniversary couple opted for quiet simplicity and parochial blessings.
The wear of aging has waged a toll on her gait and her comportment. In days of yore, with her 22" waist 36" hip, modest cup bra size, her beauty was extolled with charm and elegance. She exuded a Sophia Loren mystique.
On this day, at 73, her radiance and buoyancy are as effervescent and bubbly and have not waned. "Only medical hiccups" - the loss of sight in one eye, the adult onset diabetes, the stilting muscular degeneration in her knees- she would laughingly jest, are her obscure self diagnoses.
He is ever machismo, with his bronze toned hue and sharply contoured features. The 83 plus years have been ever so kind to him. He is still the charming and handsome pedigree of a family line bestowed with extended longevity. His admirers state that he is the personification of a Harry Belafonte look alike.
She won his fancy, while in the splendor of their youth. They shared a common ancestry of generational bloodlines. In the small district village on the outskirts of the main capital, Crusoe Island, their families were both recognized as landmarks, in their heritage and history.
All of the legions of first ancestors, beginning with the influx of Spanish immigrants who found trade and opportunity and harvest in the sugar cane and cocoa industry are his geneological link to the past. She is steeped in British, French, East Indian and the all inclusive Caribbean West Indian influences. By cultural definition, they are the cosmopolitan gene pool of multiplicity of nationalities. They are as Creole, as they are Mullatto, as they are African and Indian, British, French and Spanish.
In his toast, their first born offered a genuinely sincere thank you. For his birthplace, for the love and for all they have endured, he congratulated both parents and shared an endearing hug.
Today, was not one of his better days. From early adolescence with a diagnosis of mental illness, his regimen of medication has been exhaustive. It has been further compounded with adult onset diabetes and other health complications.
Fraught with the maladies of shattered hopes, and unfulfilled dreams he has battled his neuroses with ongoing chivalry. At those times, when the emotional, physical and mental balance are in synergy, he is functional. He has a gifted recollection to detail that is mesmerizing.
His foremost passion is his gift of enjoying classical music. As a pianist, he has studied and has acquired a concentrated library of his favorite composers. The Listz narrative is what is most deeply entrenched in his internal compass.
When his psyche is disordered, he becomes erratic, disgruntled and dis-associative. His muscle spasms and facial ticks are uncontrollable. His gesticulations and tonal utterances are irregular and erratic.
For his entire adult life, his parents have been his church, his sanctuary, his permanent place of consolation, comfort and lonely respite.
For this 50th anniversary the onset of an episodal meltdown was foreseeable. So there was no formal ushering of festive plans.
Whilst there was the portending disquiet, the 50th anniversary celebrant's daughter, discreetly commissioned her sister/cousin to lead a small assembly of family siblings to be present at a church service, on the evening of the anniversary.
They came together for the auspicious occasion of the 50th anniversary of the couple's celebration.
The bride was approaching the church entrance accompanied by her granddaughter. Her sisters waited in the front portal as she approached. As the bride observed her sisters in waiting, she let out a squeal of joyful surprise. She still had no clue that the visit was part of a planned micro mini 50th anniversary celebration.
During the service, the daughter rendered a wholesomely pure and effortlessly fluid, Schubert's Ave Maria. "It was not only classical voice that enchanted us, it was golden richness" shared an aunt in glowing accolades.
The Golden anniversary couple was publicly blessed and was applauded and cheered by fellow church congregants. In a private room adjoing the church some nine family members took pictures, shared hospitality, toasted and honored the Anniversary couple.
The priest joined the celebration and heartily sang familiar Irish songs. Other than the family cheers, the one that stood out most, was that of the five year old granddaughter.
With full command and clear voice she shared that she loved the family because everyone Cares. She lustily shared that she was "really!, really!, really!" so excited to be there.
Though there was minimum pageantry and public invitation, the occasion was reverently treasured. The sister/cousin/ niece recited the words from The Wedding Song, sung by Peter, Paul and Mary on behalf of everyone.
And to the 50 th Anniversary couple we raised our glasses with these words:
The union of your spirits, here, has caused Him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name
There is Love.
There is Love.