July 26, 2014
This past week, my siblings and I were blessed to be able to take our
entire family down to the Outer Banks to celebrate our parents' 40th
wedding anniversary. Oddly enough, in retrospect the vacation seemed to
mirror our parents' lives together in many ways. Our drive down started
out perfectly. The sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in sight.
But after several hours of comfortable cruising, we were stuck in
traffic. And we were stuck for hours. Somehow, we failed to plan ahead
to coordinate the most efficient way to travel. To top it off, Kristin
and Dennis' car broke down and they were forced to take a detour to a
random Toyota dealership in PA to service their car. But despite the
setbacks, we made the most of it. Several hours later, we suffered our
way through the traffic and Kristin's car was able to be fixed. We
eventually made our way to OBX.
But when we got to OBX, the
sunshine didn't follow us. It was POURING rain. The kind of rain that
makes you worry and wonder, "Is it going to be like this every day? We
didn't plan on rain!" But our big brother Paul minimized our worry and
insisted that the bad weather was good luck. His optimism couldn't have
been more spot on; our vacation was absolutely beautiful. The weather
was not perfect each day, but we made the most of whatever it happened
to be. The rain came and went intermittently, but we somehow always
managed to get in exactly what we needed to when the sun was out.
Throughout the week, there were laughs, tears, adventures,
disagreements, "guided tours," relaxation, sun burns, broken glasses,
Jack Nicholsons, toilet paper shortages, a missing egg crisis, and so
much more. And with everything, we made the most of it. All 16 of us.
Under one roof. Together.
We were lucky enough to have a bright,
sunshiny day for our last day, and we made sure to take advantage of
every second of it. After spending the entire day at the beach and at
the pool, we decided to skip our official restaurant dinner plans and
ordered pizza. We followed it up with a dance party starring our little
ones; they have a way of making everything so bright and sunshiny! In
accordance with the absolutely perfect weather, we got everyone together
and took some pictures together on the beach. And the pictures were
incredible! But the pictures were incredible for more than the great
lighting on the beach. They were incredible because they were of all us.
If my parents have taught us anything, it's that
marriage is not easy. It's hard. REALLY hard. Some days the sun will
shine, and other days it won't. The hourly forecast isn't always a
perfect predictor, so there's no way you can really know ahead of time
the type of weather you might have at each moment. And for that reason,
you can't worry about when it will rain. You have to appreciate the
moments of sunshine. You have to make the most of each day. Together.
When we finally made our way back to the CLE tonight, I saw my Dad hug
my Mom and I saw her hug him back (a rare occurrence if you know my
parents). While hugging, I heard my Mom say, "This was the best time we
had in 40 years."
I think we did good, kids. I love you all!