Thursday, November 15, 2007

60th Wedding Anniversary

Bob's parent's 60th Wedding Anniversary is November 30th and we decided to fly to North Dakota to celebrate with them. This decision was prompted by an email from his aunt who laid a bit of a guilt trip on us. She said basically that she wished we lived closer to her (and them) and wouldn't it be nice to surprise them with a visit in honor of this momentous event. Then she started cataloging all their various aches and pains and ailments. I'm sure we deserved to be slapped alongside the head with this wakeup call.

Several weeks ago Bob and I talked about going out there but had decided against it because
  1. Bob hates flying
  2. It's expensive
  3. We just saw them in June
But really those are pitiful excuses. We won't have them much longer and we need to make more of an effort.

BTW, I adore my in-laws. Plus the love they have shown their grandchildren makes them the best grandparents on the planet. My MIL never forgets a birthday and continually tells me she feels she's so lucky her son married me. My FIL is a hoot and loves to laugh and tell stories of his youth. In fact they both love a good joke and laughing is their favorite past time. They were hard working farmers and lived on the farm up until about 5 years ago when they had to move into the city - Minot - where they are closer to good medical care. Last year they moved into an assisted living facility because things have been getting harder for them. My MIL is 87 and my FIL is 82. An older woman/younger man story spanning 60 years. :)

We will arrive on Friday (30th) around 4:00 and go to dinner at their favorite restaurant. Then Saturday we will spend all day with them. I've heard talk from some relatives that they are trying to arrange some kind of open house party for them that day. Since we are 1200 miles away we can't help out with the plans which makes me feel bad but I said we would contribute the money if they wanted to reserve a meeting room in a hotel to hold the party. Bob's sister is in North Dakota so I'm sure most of the party planning will fall on her unfortunately. We will head back to Seattle on Sunday morning.

I love my MIL as much as my mom and she filled the void when my mom died in 1999. We used to talk and laugh together on the phone. But in recent years she has been getting more forgetful so whenever she calls she keeps the conversations very short. I really think she is afraid she will repeat herself or make a mistake about her memory. But really I don't care, I love her and she can say anything and I won't judge. But you can tell she is very self conscious. She has a pacemaker and Bob's aunt says that the only thing keeping her alive.

My main problem now is figuring out an anniversary gift for them. Help! I need suggestions! What do you get for a couple in their 80's who live in assisted living facility? I was thinking about some food item or treat but that seems like a stupid anniversary gift. Their apartment is very small so they don't have a lot of room. They will probably say that our presence will be gift enough but I think 60 years deserves something.


nath said...

Hi Renee :D

I think you're taking the right decision to go and celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. I think they'll be happy to spend this special day with their family... Also, as you said, they won't be there forever.

Gift huh? I think you should try a family picture... maybe by a professional? or perhaps, gather as many family photos over the years and put them in a frame.

Rosie said...

What a gift to still have them in your life. I think Nath is on to something with the pictures.

Maybe one of those collage frames with several pictures of your family over the years with a current one in the middle?

Dev said...

I like Nath and Rosie's idea about the pictures. I think that would mean more to them than anything you would buy.

ReneeW said...

I like the idea of a professional family picture but we won't have time to get one before the party. But I can dig through all my old photos and do a collage or something. Thanks, everyone.

CindyS said...

I feel the same way about Bob's parents. The women in the family are the daughters she's never had (she had 7 boys) and she spoils us.

Now there is only one gift Mama Smith asks for anymore and that's plain hard cold cash. Yep. Hard to find cash on sale ;)

The boys did buy her one of those digital frames that will scroll through pictures. Not sure if you have seen them. They are fairly expensive and then you would need to fill a card with pictures that would automatically blink on the screen.


ReneeW said...

Cindy: That's a lovely idea! I haven't seen them but I'm sure they'd love it. Can you send me a pointer to one online? You have my email.

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