Saturday, June 11, 2016

50 Years Strong

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to my parents!
On June 11, 1966, Stan and Jackie tied the knot in Rapid City, SD where my mom is from. They met at South Dakota State University in Brookings where dad was a hall of fame football star and mom was a top of her class PE major. Their dating story is one filled with laughs, tears, ultimatums, promises and unwavering love. I have always loved hearing their story and as I remember it now, it seems to reflect the essence of what it takes to be married 50 years strong.
One of our family's favorite quotes is from the movie Mr. Mom where someone tells Michael Keaton to "keep that sense of humor, it's critical."  We love this quote and use it often. My parents truly value humor, laughter and fun and they know that having a pity party won't solve anything. We have to keep our sense of humor so we don't lose sight of what's important. 

 I think this is rooted in their move to Evergreen, CO in 1973 with the hopes of raising their family in a place that would provide endless opportunities for us to explore, create and "be". To have grown up in a place like {old school} Evergreen brought such joy to my parents and to us kids.  The forest was our playground and our whole family thrived on the fun and freedom of mountain life. 
My parents also took us on family trips we will never forget. Of course to the CABIN!, and Mount Rushmore but also to Mexico and Washington D.C. They also took trips without us kids to places like Switzerland, Germany, Hawaii and Canada. They know how to have fun and I know they will continue to make laughter a part of their lives, it's critical.

As much as laughter brought our family together, so have the tears. From unsteady financial situations, to betrayed friendships and relationships, tears have strengthened my parents' marriage. It's not easy to raise 3 kids. A lot of sacrifices were made in order for us to have a happy, healthy life. My dad has a favorite song called "Dig Another Well" by Paul Overstreet and these lines from the song capture my parents philosophy so perfectly:

So when the rains don't fall and the crops all fail
And the cows ain't puttin' any milk in the pail
Don't sit around waitin' for a check in the mail
Just pick up the shovel and dig another well
Pick up the shovel and dig another well

I hate that tears are a part of life; I wish it could be all fun all the time, but I am so glad that in moments of heartache and fear, they picked up the shovel and dug another well. 

While this isn't the most typical word used in describing a successful relationship, I think that ultimatums are a part of the communication process. Go with me on this...So in my parents' dating story, my dad didn't fully communicate with my mom that he was "all in" with this relationship. Meanwhile my mom didn't communicate that she needed an "all in" conversation to solidify her feelings. 

Well, one night my dad was asking where my mom was and a friend said she was on a date with someone else. My dad freaked out, went to where she was and told the guy to "get your hands off my woman." After that perfectly dramatic event, my parents took a drive and decided that if they weren't both "all in", then it was over. They were married 6 months later. 

I like to think that this part of their story truly taught them about the foundation of communication and the importance of being "all in" no matter what. When they endured the tears, stresses, ups and downs of marriage, they knew in their core that they were "all in" and that could never change.

Fifty years ago, my parents promised to have and to hold each other for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. All of these have been a part of their 50 year journey. They have had to rely on the promise to bear it all in order to get here. 
As individuals and as a couple, my parents are people of integrity. I think this is because of these promises. I know that they have promised me this as their daughter, but even if you are "only" their friend, they promise to be there for you for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. I can't think of a better gift than to have Stan and Jackie Jacobsen stand with you through anything and everything. 

Unwavering Love
My parents' fierce, unwavering love for their family is their strongest quality. They love us with all that they are. They demonstrate this in multiple ways and it is the foundation of who I am. This comes from the unwavering love that they have for each other. They have built a love that holds everything else and I am truly grateful that they have taught me this and that they have given me so many tools to have a successful marriage of my own. 
I love you mom and dad! Cheers to 50 years! 

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