Mom and Dad, it’s exciting to be here tonight celebrating your 25 years of marriage. It is a little overwhelming to wrap up an entire lifetime of memories into a few minutes, but I’m going to try my best.
Mom, when I was a girl, I loved hearing you tell me your “love story.” And as I gotten older and started to understand just how complicated relationships can be… all of the details became even cooler to hear. Mom, you’ve lived in Vancouver your entire life, but it was actually in Calgary one evening that you met “him.” You were visiting a friend, and after church, went out for dinner with a group of people. Dad sat down across from you that evening. You were 26 and he was 35. After your Calgary trip, Dad resumed his normal life (with no thought of you, unfortunately) and you returned back to Vancouver, remembering the very attractive single guy at dinner. Two years later, Dad moved to Vancouver. One Sunday morning, he walked into the Vancouver Tabernacle Church with his sister Lyla. Dad didn’t remember you… but you remembered him. Over the new few months, through Dad’s sister Lyla, you and him became casual friends. (While you and Lyla became best friends.)
For over 2 years, you were crazy about Dad. But for over 2 years, he wasn’t ready. (That’s a nice way of saying he was dating someone else.) Still, you were patient. During that time, you told me every other guy you met caused you to think “not as good as Terry.” You were stuck on him. So you waited… until Dad finally saw you in a new perhaps-we-could-be-more-than-friends kind of way. One Christmas, 1986, Dad wrote you a card with these simple words. I’m going home for Christmas, but when I get back into town, it would be nice if we could get to know each other a little better. In March 1987, you and Dad went on your first date. A concert. He held your hand. And you finally got your man.
I loved hearing about your dating months: how you’d spend evenings going out for dinner in Vancouver and driving around the city streets. Saturday mornings were spent running around the Seawall. But my favourite story has to be Dad dropping you off late on a Friday evening and then calling you 8 hours later because he missed you. And needed to see you for breakfast. In November of that same year, you were engaged. On February 27, 1988 just a few months after the ring, you became husband and wife. And here are the babies! Standing here today. ;)
I loved growing up with you as my parents. Our home and family mean an incredible amount to me. Our childhood was full of fun. We were always learning and hanging out. You were excited to come out to my softball games as a kid and later, in middle school, all my volleyball games and tournaments. I appreciated how much value you placed on traveling. Our family of four got to see so much together – all over Canada and the States. Even one trip across Europe! And later in my teenage years, you two were very supportive (perhaps secretly hesitant – but you hid it well) of my decision to start my own photography business and after only one semester, drop out of university. Whoops! Thank you for believing in me.
Dad, I admire a lot about you. Brandon and I liked to play a game as kids called, “Ask Dad a question he doesn’t know the answer to.” There was no prize and we never won–because you know something about everything. I love that you love knowledge. Anything you don’t know, you look up, and… then you know it. I appreciate your work ethic, desire to do things with excellence and even though it sometimes causes us to butt heads while working on a project… your perfectionism. You’ve served our family through projects around the house, business advice, doing ALL of our business/personal taxes, even little things like super-gluing broken necklaces. I am thankful you are a man who loves the Lord – and has always made your morning prayer time a firm commitment. It speaks volumes. I love you!
Mom, you are my best friend. You have a servant heart. I couldn’t begin to express everything you have done for our family, from the little day-to-day things like cooking to the big things: praying for me and being a shoulder to cry on. You have been a solid rock for me during every hard season of my life – always willing to listen and do whatever you can to help. I love your go-getter personality, you like big ideas and big dreams. That’s something we share — and it’s fun to dream together. I am so thankful God gave me you as a mom! I think we both agree how boring working from home alone can be… and I love our day-trips to Bellingham to work at Woods Coffee, or joint errand trips down to Langley. Staples, Post Office, Walmart, little things we need to get done – but it’s more fun to do together. We’ve made so many fun memories together – and I’m excited for everything the future holds, too. I love you!
As a couple, you model a commitment to church, to giving and to family. It was important for Brandon and I to know church wasn’t a question on Sunday mornings – it was what we always did. We knew you valued church and once we became teenagers, you valued youth group. Once again – there was no question. We had to go. Looking back (and even then) we appreciate it. Thank you for making our family about the things of God. You both have committed to a life of generosity as well. I’ve been inspired by your willingness to give financially but also with your time. And with your commitment to our family, thank you for the sacrifices you have both made over the years. I thank God every day for the home we live in — both the physical shelter, but also the people He has given me. Mom and Dad, thank you for making our house a home.
*This was my speech from the party. ;)