my sister & I agree that this is our very favorite picture of our parents. in 2005, their anniversary fell a couple of weeks after hurricane katrina. we had nine feet of water & zero power. & we were in the midst of mucking out a basement, deciding what to clean/what to pitch, & setting up a pretty cool cookie sheet looter alarm. restaurants weren’t open for fancy dinners & candles were more necessary than romantic… but my mom drove up to the house to see the largest card she’d ever received– in the form of this huge sheet of plywood.
like I said, this is my favorite picture of my parents. but my favorite story about my parents happened years before this picture was taken. they had four kids under five years old… & one night, around 2am we all got the stomach virus. one kid after another started vomiting. my parents rolled the sick child out of bed, changed clothes, pulled off the sheets, & stuck him back in bed… just in time to get to the next puking kid’s room. after they finally got us all settled back in, they took the pile of sheets out to the backyard & started hosing them down… & then my mom says they just looked at each other & burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the entire situation. ever since they told me that story, I’ve adopted that as a life goal: if I get married, I want to marry someone who will laugh when everyone throws up in the middle of the night.
I think my parents would tell you that their life together has been full of beautiful storybook things… family reunions & wonderful Christmases & fun vacations. but thrown into all that has been there a flood & a house fire & financial uncertainty & relational heartbreak & a host of other things that weren’t exactly how they would have written them. I’m thankful that, instead of giving up or breaking down, my parents have kissed in the hurricanes & laughed at the vomit. their life together has been marked by the graciousness of a good God… & it has taught me more about patience, consistency, faithfulness, & quiet love than any relationship book I could ever read. happy anniversary, mom & dad! we love you.