Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tiers of Joy

My family has had much to celebrate this Christmas: the first time in years when we've gotten together at the holidays, good travel weather, and the Chef Mother's slow but now steady recovery.

On top of that, we had an extra reason for celebration: My Wonderful Parents' 40th wedding anniversary.

Their anniversary actually slipped by back in October, but since I wasn't around that weekend (thanks to my work conference), I helped them celebrate it back in August with dinner at the local Bistro.

Talk about putting them off the scent! They had absolutely no clue that all fall I was in cahoots with my aunts (from both sides of the family) to plan a little party for them. We had a number of doubtful moments, when we weren't sure that the Chef Mother would be well enough to be out of the hospital for the holidays, but with a great deal of hope, we managed to pull it off.

I had talked with the Original Organic Farmer this summer about a cake for the party, since she caters many weddings and other celebrations. She pulled out all the stops and created a small two-tier low-sugar spice cake (respecting My Dear Papa's diabetes) with a low-sugar cream cheese buttercream frosting, with gorgeous red silk roses nestled around the base of the cake.

The Original Organic Farmer did herself proud, because the cake tasted as delectable as it looked, with the frosting coming across as having a flavor much like eggnog against the deep spicy moistness of the cake.

My aunts, uncles, and I waltzed into my folks' apartment this afternoon, shouting "Surprise!" and caught them both off-guard. (Shades of their 25th anniversary party, when I was able to surprise my mother three times over a weekend, though my father was in on the whole deal.) But they quickly adapted to the change in plans, oohed and ahhed over the cake, and stepped up to slice it, just as they did 40 years ago.

It has been an entirely too eventful year for My Wonderful Parents, but I'm going to go on record to say that in the midst of all the turmoil and the pain, we have as a family found many blessings. I am enormously proud of them both: of the Chef Mother for her persistence in fighting infection after infection and for pushing herself to strengthen her body; of My Dear Papa for all that he has done to keep their lives on track, to move them back home, and to smooth the way for my mother; and of my parents together, for sticking with each other through thick and thin over four whole decades.

And I'm not just saying that because they're now faithful readers of my blog... I see them making the effort day in and day out to renew their vows over and over again. They've set a marvelous example before me all my life, and I have hope that they will continue to share their love with us all.

I love you, Mom and Dad. Here's to many more!


At 12/28/2007 6:19 PM, Blogger Bri said...

What a sweet post and ode to your parents. They are very lucky to have such a devoted and loving daughter as you. My parents split up when I was little, but I have taken to heart what a good friend of mine said about her parents. She said that she and her 4 siblings knew they were well loved, but they also knew they came 2nd in priority to their parents' relationship. It kept the family together and strong knowing that the bond between her parents could withstand it all. Your parents seem to have that kind of devotion to each other as well. I'm sorry your mom has had such trouble with illness this year. It can be hard on the caretaker as well, but it sounds like your papa is doing a great job. Congrats on their 40th and happy holidays to all of you!

At 12/29/2007 10:13 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thanks, Bri... you're right on all counts. It's been a wonderful lesson to me that the hard work invested in a marriage pays off so well! I'm sure they'll appreciate your kind thoughts! :-)


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