Yesterday, we were celebrating my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. For the occasion, I wrote the following text.
Ah, here we are again, on this day blessed with an important anniversary! Two days ago, you officially celebrated sixty years of living together.
I must admit that it took me a long time to start writing this text. I reread what I wrote to you for the 40th, 45th, and then 50th. Apart from finding myself quite good, it didn’t necessarily give me the courage to break through the blank page. What more can we say, indeed?
Perhaps just one word, which I have heard many times when I told people around me that we were celebrating your sixtieth. Wow!
We may live longer in our modern societies where everything seems so ephemeral and without memories, but we have not yet gotten used to thinking that a relationship can last all this time…
Sixty years ago, both of you swore to be there for each other, in the best, in the worst and in the in-between that all the actions and gestures of everyday life represent. What has changed since then? I went back to the family site to review the pictures from that time. I then thought to myself that time, this long time of sixty years, did not seem to have changed.
Looking at this picture before the wedding, where, sitting on the couch, all dressed up in happiness, Mom held the hand of her future, also well dressed, in a tie jacket, please. She was happy, while the man laughed his head off, probably proud of having said something stupid again.
That hasn’t really changed, has it?
When, about fifteen years later, in this other photo, Mom laughs heartily, her man at her side. What else had he said, what did she remember?
And the rest, all these years, should we name them all? It seems to me that it is always the same moment, even if, of course, I was not there.
Who led who into this mess? By rereading the magnificent text that Dad wrote for us on the 45th, I understand that you were strong, independent and it is in this mutual respect that you started and continued the adventure. By mutual agreement, in this promise that the laughter would continue, that strength is in the union and consent of each day to live together.
This is the greatest lesson we have learned and which has constantly motivated me, you see, in everything I have written and thought about. Even I, who am relatively alone in life, try to build around me this same climate of kindness, for it alone overcomes and nourishes existence.
Love is made of companionship, crossing the desert, resting in oases. It is made of hard work, patient hard work, just as it is made up of a string of children and achievements. Around you tonight, the journey of this incurable happiness, happiness resulting from this laughter to be built and bitten into life. They’re all standing there thinking, “wow!” I want to be like them when I’m old, old like them…
But you, you’re not old, are you? You two are together, camped out in life.
I guess you do more often than before the review. Dad told us twenty years ago and he still tells us again. He is happy to have his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in front of him, all smarter than each other. I know how to live this same adoration, to regret perhaps not seeing us more often, because the sense of family is in her heart and in her veins. We have inherited from both of you our desire to go further, to bite into life.
And I still know how to call you all the beautiful words of love and also to tease you constantly. Your madness, your love, your friendship is constantly there, as it was at the beginning. Each year now becomes more and more significant for both you and us. You have to be really crazy to love, really in love to be crazy, really buddy to be always there, hand in hand, feeding on the happiness of this fertile life.
Wow! I can only say that, too. I repeat I have heard it from friends and colleagues in Montreal, France, Algeria, and Brazil. It’s a rare fact, sixty years old, something you certainly didn’t suspect.
And I dare to bet from the bottom of my heart, what am I saying, from my womb as a little boy, that I will still be here a long time before you to tell you other beautiful stories on the way to your immense love.
In your fortieth year, you remember, we, your children, had stood in front of you to bless you. I guess it brought you luck. I would invite Diane, France, Dominique, and Marie to join me.
Here we are again before you, putting our hands on your heart, we are the same, we are the fruit of your love and this love has grown, you see it in this room. All this has not changed, and our love is immutable.
As Ferland used to sing: it’s a good thing we have…
And as the young old people say: hey, respect…
Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to go back to tradition. It was customary, and it still is a little bit customary, on New Year’s Day to ask the patriarchs to give us their blessing. It is up to the eldest, I think, to make the request.
My dear parents, would you have the kindness of us to bless us?