the boys

the boys

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Dean, take you Dixie

A few weeks ago my maternal grandparents celebrated 60 years of marriage. We had a family BBQ and then the following week on their anniversary they renewed their wedding vows during church at the same church where they were married 60 years ago to the day. Words can't even describe....but I'll try.

We are from a small town so our little church only seats about 100 people. It's nice and simple and intimate. Many, if not all, of the people there for Mass that night have known my grandparents for most of their lives. In fact, the two boys that served Mass at their wedding were present for the vow renewal. One actually served this Mass too.

So if you can picture it, there were about 50 people gathered in a small town Catholic Church. Before Mass, Nana got out her wedding album and was comparing the pictures to how the church looks now. Before Mass began, my cousin sang (with my mom on the piano) Irving Berlin's "Always" which was one of the songs from their wedding. If you aren't familiar with the song you should check it out. It's the perfect wedding song and an even more perfect 60th wedding anniversary song! She did a beautiful job! I was watching my grandparents sit hand in hand while listening to their adult granddaughter sing their wedding song. So sweet.

During Mass, Father brought Nana and Papa up to the alter and they renewed their wedding vows. You could barely hear them, but mostly because I think they were just saying them to each other. They weren't proclaiming them for all to hear and making a show of it. They were just renewing their vows to each other. Eye to eye, hand in hand they recited the vows to love and honor each other. And then they kissed.....maybe the cutest thing I've ever seen.

But probably my favorite part was yet to come. My mom had arranged a little surprise. During the last hymn, the priest usually processes back down the aisle. But he continued to linger up by the alter and you could feel that everyone was a little confused. After the last verse he just stayed put and looked at my mom who was playing the piano. My mom just acted as if this was totally normal and she was just moving on to the next song. She switched out her sheet music but instead of another hymn she started playing the Wedding March. After the first few notes we could all see my grandparents realize what she was playing. They just sort of looked at each other, laughed, shrugged their shoulders and then stepped out into the aisle and walked arm in arm back down the aisle with everyone clapping. It gives me goosebumps now to even think about it!!!

Saying that my grandparents are my role models seems so cliche. But who wouldn't want to model themselves after these 2 people? At the family BBQ the weekend before the vow renewal, the 6 children each gave a top 10 list of memories. Every single memory had some hint, if not an outright example, of Nana and Papa's patience, generosity, and love. When we got home that evening, my husband said "Do you think our boys will be able to say that about us in 60 years?" Now if that isn't a goal.....I don't know what is!

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