Because They Danced…

Marriage. I was recently asked to give a toast about this very subject and for the life of me I could not come up with a single thing. At first I thought it was because I’m terrified to speak in public, but it was just my family; then I thought maybe it was because I didn’t have time to prepare, but I had plenty of time and 40 years to look back on (well technically 35 of my own years); and then I thought it was because Marriage is just not a good subject for ME to talk about, I’m simply not good at it. Whatever the reason, I fell short and I was unable to tell two of the most important people in my life how very significant their 40 years of marriage is to me and to many.

My parents celebrated 40 years married yesterday and even though I wished them congratulations, helped throw them a surprise party and raised my glass to them as my brother spoke and recited how he couldn’t wait to follow in their footsteps, I was without words.

My parents, like most if not all married couples, have been through thick and thin, good times and bad, trying times and easier times, but what sets them apart from many, is that they would do it all over again as long as they were together. There were times when I didn’t know how they would make it through the storm(s) of raising my brother and I (mostly me) and times when I would wonder how they were ever not together in their lives, but one thing I never doubted was their love for one another.

At the party yesterday one of my cousins asked my dad how they did it, how they made it all these years still intact. My dad’s answer was simple and perfect…we worked on it every day, every single day and…We Dance.

That statement was more true and more definitive then I think anyone in that room could ever know. Growing up I remember good times and bad times but the details of what made those times good and the bad have faded in my memory, however, my parents dancing never, ever will, and that memory is what makes me believe in true love.

It began before they were even married and into our childhood. They went dancing every Friday night, left us with sitters (some fantastic, some questionable) and sometimes although it wasn’t always easy, they made it a point to go together. Even as recently as this weekend, you ask what they did on Saturday night and my dad will proudly tell you they cleared the living room and danced all night. Growing up when we would attend weddings people would come up to me and tell me how amazing they were on the dance floor and how cool it was to watch them. I’d just smile shyly and say “yeah, I know”, but the truth is, they were, and still are amazing, because when they’re out there the only thing that matters is each other.

No matter how tough, no matter how bumpy or crazy life got, no matter how insane my Dad’s driving was or how uncontrollable my Mom’s reaction to it was, or whether there was a birth of a new grandchild or death of a loved one, they would always come back to their foundation and the love they share, and have shared through it all because of the foundation they built many years ago together.

When I see my parents holding hands after all these years, I can’t help but smile as it confirms that a love like that still exists and I’m very lucky to have witnessed and continue to witness it today. I’m so proud to be their daughter and so happy to be able to celebrate 40 years of marriage with them, and even though I froze yesterday, I hope that these words today can give justice to an amazing accomplishment and an amazing couple. Congrats you guys, we love you and because of you…

I will always believe in love because at the end of the party when all the cake is gone and the celebration comes to an end real love will last forever ….because they danced.

mom&dad

Happy 40th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

TIME

Time is a funny thing. It’s powerful, so powerful it’s almost impossible to explain, you can’t see it, feel it, smell it, taste it or hear it, but it is capable of so many profound things – it can heal, age, pass, reveal and stand still. It can affect you and your life like you never thought possible. To describe it, words are lost, but the power behind Time is immeasurable and the effects are countless. To choose what effect is most noteworthy I believe depends on the situation, and in this situation one effect of Time is maturity. Well, maybe maturity is not the perfect word as I associate “mature” with growing up, and that, I will never completely accomplish, but in so many other ways I have grown. I’ve grown a little wiser, a little older, a little more experienced and a lot more confident, and all of it took Time.

I remember my first blog post. I was so scared to push the publish button I think I read and edited over a five-day period for a two paragraph post. I couldn’t believe I’d actually consider putting my thoughts, feelings and words out there for everyone to read. I couldn’t believe I would actually think anyone would even care what I had to say. I couldn’t believe me, Lisa, would actually take a chance to do something that in my mind could make or break me. (I was pretty dramatic). As crazy as that may sound, at points in my life, there were times I was afraid to tell myself how I felt, let alone the world-wide web. I was the girl who was afraid to call the pizza delivery guy, or go back to the store for a refund if something didn’t fit, or make a decision that I didn’t get approved by seven different people. Yeah that was definitely me. Thankfully, I eventually did get over the fear at hand and pushed the button, however this only added to my already insane anxiety.

What now? What if people don’t like what I had to say, what if people were offended or didn’t agree with me, what if, what if, what if. That very question plagued my dreams. I was so afraid of not being validated that I would refresh my dashboard every few minutes and stare at the hour-glass waiting for a comment or a “like”. To my selfish, inexperienced surprise, that validation did not come like I believed it should, and I fell into a sense of inability and failure. Don’t get me wrong, people would comment and feedback was positive, but it seemed like it was never enough for me and after a while, and not much effort, I quit writing. Such a shame because I read some of my posts and they are not bad if I might say so, but more importantly, I gave up on a dream, even if it would only be that, a dream, I gave up. I was a coward and pretty selfish too, which now brings me to my point.

Time has passed, as it does, and just recently after reading a book by John Greene did I realize how much I missed writing, which realization brought me back here. Back to the place that I feared, but also the place I thought I was going to awe people and change their thoughts and touch their lives. I told you I was pretty dramatic (and a little dorky). And now, although I can still be the dramatic dork, Time has made me a matured one and more significantly a more confident one.

So here I am again. How I’ve missed seeing my words on paper or my chaotic thoughts strewn out in a way that they begin to make sense. I’ve forgotten how addictive and therapeutic it is all wrapped up in one. This time though, as much as I would love to awe people, I write for me, because when I write for me I don’t need that validation I believed I had to have, I don’t need hundreds of likes or comments, I just need my thoughts, my feelings and my words. If along the way someone connects with the words they read here that would be amazing, but if not, that’s okay too, because the lesson I learned in Time is that quitting is never the answer.

In conclusion, I’ve learned to appreciate what Time has given me and as happy as I am to be back, the best part is that Me is a little more logical, a little less selfish, a little more realistic, a little less dramatic and a lot more full of faith, which ironically is just like Time – untouchable yet profound.

clock