Jenn's parents

The year was 1982. Mom and Dad had been married for 30 years and had sacrificed everything for their children’s education. But finally it was time to splurge on something for themselves — a new bedroom suite to replace the inexpensive set they’d used for three decades.

Unfortunately, they took their nine-year-old daughter with them, and she didn’t understand how special the day was. Pointing at a beautiful walnut canopy, the little girl commented, “How pretty.”

That was all it took. There was no begging. Just an observation, really. But it was enough to make those kindhearted parents smile and ask the store manager to wrap it up.

I still have that bed.

It will always remind me of the staggering grace of unselfish love. But denying them that small luxury will be one of the few regrets I take to my grave.

This week marks my parents’ 61st wedding anniversary, and I can’t help but look back on the life they created together. Though they’ve taught me countless lessons, two of the most valuable came back on that day in 1982.

  • It is always more fun to buy a gift for someone you cherish than to buy something for yourself. 
  • Want to be happy? Be content with what you already have.

So happy anniversary, Mom and Dad. And thank you for showing me how to find joy in the simple acts of everyday love.

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