Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fårikål and Family

I have often told myself that I am silly for feeling the way I do.  Maybe I am.  Maybe I am not.  The older I get the less judgmental I get about myself and everyone else.  I have been learning to “be.”  To accept who I am.  I don’t think it is unique to want to feel special and loved.  Last night I felt special and loved.

Yesterday was my 33rd wedding anniversary.  It started pretty much the same as any other day.  I was sick, which actually isn’t that unusual on our anniversary since it comes at the peak of flu season.  I don’t have the flu but I am sick.  I’m coughing and coughing and feel miserable.  I had been up late waiting for my husband, hoping to see his reaction to the anniversary present I got for him.  I wrote about it here.

He came home that night with an odd but beautiful assortment of flowers.  I’ve arranged them on my dining room table.  They are pretty.  At midnight, the beginning of our anniversary we had exchanged our cards and gifts.  He muttered something about getting my gift tomorrow. 

My daughter and her family had decided to honor us and have a party for us on our special day.  I was touched.  When I was a little girl my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in grand style in the basement of our church.  It was one of the highlights of my youth.  I remembered so distinctly my mother saying, we didn’t have much of a wedding or reception, so when that happens, you go all out for your 25th.  
That stuck with me.  On our 25th anniversary, we had no party, no trips, nothing.  I still feel that disappointment.  I was also sick that year too.  It was Bethany and Jerry who came with chicken soup to make me feel better.  I don’t like soup but that was the best chicken soup I ever had!


Last night was our first EVER party for our anniversary.  It was the first time any of our children honored us on our anniversary.  I think we failed in training them in this way.  Nevertheless Bethany has been the exception.

Her house was decorated with white balloons.  I don’t know about you, but there is something about balloons.  Even though we were late, there were still smiles and hugs.  My granddaughter said I hope when I get married I have a marriage like ya’ all’s and not get divorced after two years.  I thought yea, me too!  But I also thought “honey, you have no idea how much work that takes.”

There was a formal menu.  Norwegian food was the order of the night.  Usually when we have family events the Pakistani side overrides the Norwegian side.  Not last night!  Jerry as the head chef made an amazing fårikål that was the star of the night.  There was music in the background including Shania Twain’s “Looks like we made it.”  Used to be my favorite song and I used to cry when I heard it – I didn’t last night.  We talked about Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” the song I claimed as “our” song even though my husband doesn’t remember J.

The chatter was pleasant.  The food amazing.  Love filled the apartment.  Not the love of my husband and I as a couple, but the love of family – something bigger.  I marveled again at my beautiful grandchildren.  Our son chatted chemistry and biology with our grandson Jesse.  Alysabeth seemed to enjoy laughing at our stories of old cars.  She cleared the table and washed the dishes without complaint as well.  Maria sat on grandpa’s lap as he read to her.  I was so proud of all them.  I was especially proud of Bethany.  She has overcome so much.  Her strength is amazing.  Her loyalty and love of family is strong.  As I hugged and kissed her good bye, I said thanks-you made my day.

As I got in the car I opened the card they gave us on the way out.  Signed by all of them it was a memento I will keep forever.   Then I saw the poem my beautiful granddaughter had written.  I welled up with tears.  It was special for me.  I felt so loved and special as I got I rode home in spite of the coughing.  I went to bed last night feeling warmed inside by the love of my daughter and her family.  I needed that yesterday because in the background were thoughts of my own mother who passed into glory a year ago yesterday. 

I have a friend who keeps saying “life is good.”  A short time ago that irritated me because life for me wasn’t good – now it is.  I’m home.  I have family nearby and best of all they love me.


  1. I'm so glad life is good for you again. Congratulations on this milestone anniversary, and on the wonderful party your family hosted. I especially love that they played "your" songs!

    (And, I often say that I could make up all sorts of fun stories to tell my husband about our early years because he remembers nothing at all.)


  2. I know you are so proud of Bethany... how wonderful that she and Jerry blessed you with such a nice evening! 33 years is a long time - and you guys have been through more than most - staying together has taken committment - way more than just love. I am so happy that you are in the place of feeling life is good! God is good... all the time! :-) Be blessed for another 33 years!

  3. WOW...what a wonderful surprise for you. I am so glad you were honored in that way. Be blessed with many many more "family moments" in your lifetime.. Kudos to Bethany...God bless her.


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