In life, some things we do because we love them. Some things we do out of obligation. And then there are things that we are moved to do, even if (at the time) we don't FULLY understand the significance or the lasting impact.
A little over two years ago, Natan and I were talking about our parents' upcoming anniversary. Solon overheard us say "40 years" and he said, "Oh, we've gotta do something big for them. Forty years is a huge milestone." Natan, Larel, and I agreed - and so a family lunch was planned. The location that made the most sense for an occasion like this, was the place that my parents had their first date, and where they celebrated their wedding anniversary each year - Monti's La Casa Vieja in Tempe.
It was a wonderful lunch, with as many of our local family that could make it. I was able to put a slideshow together for the occasion, and felt compelled to get it JUST RIGHT - even if it meant staying up way past my bedtime, several nights in a row. The music I included was paramount to the beginning of their relationship. Hey, I have a lot of my dad in me that way. And the look on their faces was priceless. My dad was rarely moved to tears, but he was clearly overcome with emotion looking back on 40 years of their love. He couldn't speak when it was over, for a moment, and then I heard him say quietly, "I didn't think I would make it this long. I am so glad I did."
What we didn't know at the time of the party, was that Monti's was going to close it's doors for good nine months later (November 2014), or that my daddy would only live to see one more anniversary with my mom. Call it fate, destiny, a higher power, or pure luck - but I am eternally grateful that we celebrated their 40 years of love in a major way.
Mamita, I know this day is going to be hard for you. But I want you to know this always... You and Daddy gave us the most amazing example of LOVE, TRUE LOVE. You stayed TRUE to your vows to each other - through ups and downs, successes and failures, sickness and health, LOVE and loss. Your example and your words will be embedded in Natan and me forever - "We don't have much, but we are RICH in LOVE." Think of that richness as you look back on your beautiful life together, TODAY of all days...
I love you both, today on what would be your 42nd Anniversary, and always.
Chacha Linda - Hermanos Martinez Gil
For My Lady - Moody Blues
New Horizons - Moody Blues