Tell Me a Story about…an Anniversary

          Our first daughter, Holly, born six weeks premature at a time when that meant serious threats to an infant’s survival, developed faster than the doctors predicted. She spoke her first words at five months and complete sentence soon after. Each developmental check-up showed her vocal and motor skills surpassing not only the current-age-minus-six-weeks’ norms but zooming months ahead of her actual age.

          What does this have to do with a story about an anniversary, you ask? Most people scoff at these claims I make of Holly’s early achievements vocally, however, my mom and dad’s 25th anniversary brought the truth in a harmonic way.

          Around the time of Holly’s second birthday, my brothers and I ramped up our plans for a surprise anniversary party for our parents. We invited family and friends, suggesting monetary6-4-18 C gifts to go toward a special gift. Our parents never had a honeymoon, never went away by themselves, choosing family vacations instead. We set up an anniversary trip, even called our dad’s work in secret and scheduled his vacation time. I made reservations at Heritage USA in NC, ordered a AAA triptik, and arranged to stay with their dogs for the week.

          I like to think we surprised them with the party, but if not, the planned trip did the trick. (Note: the photo is from the day of the party, my dad holding Holly.) As we helped them pack their car to leave, Holly chattered and sang songs, including her favorite— “Jesus Loves Me.” I sent money with my parents to purchase a singing doll advertised at Heritage. A tiny plastic record inserted in the doll gave her a voice, and the one I picked sang Holly’s favorite song.

          Upon their return, my parents gave Holly the doll. She oohed and aahed over the doll’s curly red hair and pushed the button over and over to mak6-4-18 (2)e her sing. At just over fourteen months, our preemie daughter sang along with her special doll, only having a little trouble keeping up with its speed. (Note: the photo is not of the one we had. Holly’s is long gone!)

          Years later, we know why God gifted her so early with a voice. He wanted Holly to use that voice in service to Him, and she has in many ways. Never doubt the gifts God gives and His timing, no matter how unusual they may seem.

 *** Do you have a story to share about a special anniversary—yours or someone else’s? Or if not, do you have a special gift which showed up early in your life or a family member’s? To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Scroll to the bottom of the comment section to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** As I write this, my brother is vacationing at a cabin in Potter County, PA, my favorite place on earth. I wonder if he remembers the flashlight we used for a special purpose there when we were children. Next week, I’ll tell you about it!

7 thoughts on “Tell Me a Story about…an Anniversary

  1. Beautiful story thanks for sharing! My parents never had a reception on when they were married so us 5 children planned one at a fire hall on their 25th then again on their 50th at Caledonia State Park, the place where they first kissed! hen we sent them down to Skyline Drive to stay near their honeymoon spot!They had a wonderful time reminiscing together!
    So, yes we just celebrated our 35th Anniversary and I still get out the candle I attached our original invitation to, which we light each year. I also have saved my dried wedding bouquet in a jar, our glasses we toasted with, the cake knife, cake topper I made and our wedding album etc, and we listen to the cassette tapes we arranged for the music we loved for our reception too! I am teaching my children through our example of how to keep their Love alive after all these years together, by doing this each year and especially thanking Jesus for putting us together 40 yrs ago! We are very Blessed indeed, Amen

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    • It blows my mind to think of us being married almost 40 years! Your parents’ 50th sounds perfect and probably blessed them very much. Kevin and I hiked the trails at Caledonia a few times while dating…and yeah, we kissed, too! LOL! Not for the first time, though. That was at my junior prom the year we reconnected after knowing each other in junior high. Thank you for sharing your stories, Lise! Blessings!

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  2. Hi Cathy,

    What a great story about your parents’ surprise anniversary gift and the doll for your daughter! When I think “anniversary” I think of my parents’ 50th anniversary, back in 2002. I’m not very good at gift ideas but wanted to come up with something special for them. They did not like parties or anything elaborate, but at least a nice gift was in order. I prayed for a good idea and one presented itself. Our church had its own sort of social media thing which served as a place to buy and sell to other congregation members. A lady advertised that she was starting an informal business of taking photographs and somehow transferring the image onto candles. I thought that was such a unique and wonderful idea and started imagining having my parents’ wedding photo put on a lovely white candle. I happened to have a good copy of that photo so wouldn’t even have to try and get it from my parents which might ruin the surprise. I talked to the lady about it and we made our plans to have it done. I met her at church and gave her the photograph and a week or so later I had this beautiful candle with the young image of my mom and dad on their wedding day on it and if memory serves, there was also a Happy 50th Anniversary message added to it. They were so surprised and loved it. It was nothing elaborate or fancy but they didn’t like things like that anyway. And they never could have guessed what it might be as they were opening it! It meant a lot to me, too, to have been able to find just the perfect thing for them to honor their marriage and their special day. And now that they both are gone, I have that candle to keep and remember them by. Now, how they met is a much more fun story but that is for another day!!

    Blessings to you, Cathy 🙂

    — Leafy

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    • Ooo, Julie! I can’t wait to hear how your parents met sometime! My husband and I met through peanuts…the legume, not the comics! It’s also a fun story, one I wrote for Chicken Soup but wasn’t accepted for the specific book I intended it for. Maybe another time. I’ve seen candles like the one you had made for your parents. It’s so fun to think of unique gifts for those we love. The photo of my dad with Holly had to be taken from an ironed-on version of the actual photo (not sure where the latter is!). This one was ironed onto a quilt along with many other family photos which my mom helped our daughters make for me years ago. It’s a treasure and hangs in my hallway along with another one my mom made for my dad and then gave to me when he died. Family…photos…stories…legacies we treasure! Thanks for sharing yours! Blessings!

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