Still Trying to Get Myself Together. . .

So in the meantime, here's something to think about.

Had a lovely time with my 80-something great-aunt and great-uncle this weekend, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. (I know, wow, right? More about that, eventually. Plus unexpected other relatives' showing up.)

I didn't get the chance to pick up a card for them beforehand, so I went shopping for one today to drop in the mail and tell them how fun it was to see them. There are not many cards out there for 50th anniversaries, in case you haven't browsed the card aisle for one recently.

What struck me was that one of them said something like, "Look at all you've done," and there's a list of what I guess reads like a history of the average couple that's been married for decades. On the list is "raised a family." Well, I guess they did, just not an immediate one. See, my great-aunt and great-uncle didn't have any children. They doted on my mom and her siblings (my late grandmother was the older sister of my great-uncle), and I think also on my great-aunt's nieces and nephews. And then down onto the next generation--me and my sibs especially. I know there are some of my second cousins who aren't exactly on a straight path that worry my great-aunt a bit, too. She's very caring, almost to a fault. And she's the in-law! (Or "out-law" as she often jokes with the other women who are in-laws in my family.)

They often insist I come visit them at their retirement community to have dinner with them, and I never leave empty-handed after a visit.
It is amazing how they want to keep fussing over us kids when they both need oxygen on occasion and can barely walk.

Obviously, I didn't buy that card. That seemed a bit insensitive, you know? (And how many people married 50 years have had the sadness of burying one or more of their children? That happens, too.) I got a Sunrise card that has an illustration of a snazzily-dressed bear couple by Tim Bowers (scroll down to the "Bears" CD cover and you'll get the idea). Inside, the card says, "Side by side/ Year by year."

That idea seems to exemplify them well, and with all the crazy health drama stuff that's gone on in the past year (and man, summer seems to up the medical scares with them), I am sure they are happy to have another year at each other's side.


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