Monday, September 12, 2011



June and Tom - September 13, 1961


Tom and June - September 13, 2011

Folks have asked us the secret of our long life together. Each long-married couple is unique, and what I say here is quite personal and should be read simply as an account of what I believe worked for us. First of all, I believe that we entered into marriage as a commitment for life. We intended for our relationship to endure, through good times and difficult times.

Next, at least for me, I believe it was better that Tom and I were friends first, and falling in love happened over a period of time. With the wisdom of hindsight, I think of the two or three boys and young men with whom I fell - as Jane Austen would say - violently in love. The relationships did not last, and if I had gone on to marry any of them, the marriages probably would not endured. One, I'm quite sure, would have failed rather spectacularly.

We'd never have made it without each of us having a sense of humor, plus neither of us will permit the other to take him/herself too seriously for very long.

We air our differences openly, and it's not always pretty, but when the argument is over, it is done, with no lengthy, pouty silences following.

We enjoy some of the same activities, and we go our different ways other times, which seems to have been good for our relationship.

And that's about it for wisdom from the aged - for now. I'm reminded of Eliot's words:
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdon of humility: humility is endless.
The pictures are from our brunch/lunch over the weekend when the family gathered to celebrate our anniversary and the September birthdays of four members of the family: my son Patrick, my daughter Alison, my grandson Joey, and me. September seems to be a month for new life in our family. Our celebration was lovely.

The restaurant permitted us to bring our own champagne for a small corking fee. My friend Dennis, the psychologist, who was once a wine-seller, recommended several brands of the bubbly, and I was able to find Taittinger at our local market. I don't care for a good many champagnes, plus some of them give me a headache, but the Taittinger was perfect. Dennis described the brand as having a 'delicate style', which it did, indeed, and everyone enjoyed it. Best of all, I didn't get a headache.


My son Patrick and his children, Joshua and Ashlynn, with cousin William

My daughter-in-law Cindy, their son Joey, and my son Tim

My grandsons Bryan and William, my daughter's boy friend Frank, and my daughter Alison

My grandson Andrew was absent from the gathering because he had scheduled his first driver's education lesson, and he would not, for the world, have missed. We missed not having Andrew with us, but I don't hold his decision against him.

Sunday morning at church, instead of the regular anniversary prayer for Tom and me, Fr Ron, our interim rector, asked the congregation to join with him to say the 'Blessing of a Marriage' from the marriage ceremony in The Book of Common Prayer. The prayer is lovely, and Tom and I were both quite moved and a bit teary-eyed.
O God, you have so consecrated the covenant of marriage that in it is represented the spiritual unity between Christ and his Church: Send therefore your blessing upon these your servants, that they may so love, honor, and cherish each other in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favor look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that you may faithfully live together in this life, and in the age to come have life everlasting. Amen.
Now you know the occasion for the dozen golden roses, which Tom had arranged to be on the table when we arrived at the restaurant. The children and Tom went all out for our celebration. I thank them all, and I love them all.


  1. Let me offer the first "Mazel Tov!" Kudos & Congrats!!! :-D

    Grandmere & Grandpere: Match Made in Heaven!

  2. JCF, you're No. 1! Thank you. I'm sure God had a hand in our going the distance.

    KJ, you're No. 2! No.2 is good, too!

  3. Congratulations, Mimi! having met both you and Tom, I can say that you are clearly meant for each other, a beautifully complementary couple. And such handsome children....

  4. Congratulations, Mimi and Tom!! Y'all look so beautiful, yes you do!!

    Your children and grandchildren are lucky to be your progeny.

    And I must say that the roses are lovely.

  5. Congratulations! And God's richest blessings!


  6. Congratulations to you both. My sister and brother-in-law celebrate 50 years on October 11.

  7. Congratulations, Mimi and Tom!! I loved the pictures of your family. Fifty years, and a legacy to boot.

  8. Congratulations to you both, and to you for your September birthday!

    I loved that Wedding picture of you, you really haven't changed that much, I'd definitely have recognised you from it.
    But I love the warmth and that infectuous smile in your anniversary photo. You are a very special person. And Tom looks just as loving and kind, one of those people who shine from the inside.

    You really are an amazing couple.

  9. What a great post! Happy anniversary! Many happy returns of the day! My friend and fellow parishioners Ethel and John celebrated their 50th around 11 years ago. John (RIP now) said, "People ask us how we've made things work over 50 years. It's because we're best mates, Ethel and I." Couldn't have said it better.

  10. Lovely, Mimi--all of it. Congratulations to you and Tom--may you have many more happy years together!


  11. Congratulations to the both of you on 50 years! All those smiling faces are testimony to your mutual success.

  12. Happy 50th and congratulations! With many more ahead!

  13. God bless you both for your witness to love in all it's glory!

  14. What a wonderful celebration! Roses and Taittinger (which is my favorite champagne, too!), family, good food, and a wonderful life companion. Congratulations - and thanks for the words of wisdom! All of us benefit from having you as our friend, and we all rejoice with you in your happiness today!

  15. Congratulations! Joy and peace to you both (and those roses, wow!).


  16. And look at the lovely words I find when I turn on my computer. Thank you all. You made me cry, but in a good way.

    After Tom and me, Alison, Frankie and the boys arrived at the restaurant next, and Tom insisted that I open his card. Along with the sentiments on the card, Tom added his own lovely words, which I read aloud. Tom and Frankie got all teary-eyed, and Alison and I laughed at them. I said, 'Look at the guys, they're all weepy, and here are we, two hard-hearted bitches, laughing at them.' And that made everyone laugh.

  17. Wow! Congratulations on 50 years of friendship and love.

  18. Congratulations and "Many Years" to you both!

    John and Monica

  19. A little late catching up on the blog...but let me add my congratulations to you and Tom on achieving 50 years of marital bliss. You have a lovely family, and I enjoy your blog postings which reveal more of you than you might think. As a regular follower of Wounded Bird, I consider you a friend. I printed out the Anniversary post and shared it with my wife of 56 years so we could both nod sagely and say, yes, she got it right! May there be many more days of happiness ahead. Dave and Carol.

  20. I'm a bit late to the party, taking my coffee break in the middle of the morning and checking a few blogs - so I raise my cup of coffee to the two of you, Tom and June! What a wonderful example and role model you are! May God bless you and your fine family. Much love from faraway Edmonton.

  21. I read all the lovely comments over again. Thank you all for your good wishes.

    Carol and Dave, 56 Years! My God bless you with many more happy years together.

  22. May you have 50 more years of uninterrupted marital bliss

  23. Congratulations.

    Funny to think you are only 15 years ahead of me in anniversary years. Funny how I still think of myself as so much younger than that.

    "Who knows where the time goes?"

    Ah, but it's lovely to spend it with someone so special, isn't it?

    And "scronv" to you, too!

  24. Congratulations, Mimi and Tom! What great pictures. And such good advice for couples, too. You really should think about writing a book. Seriously.

  25. What a great day and I am so thankful you have shared your lives (Grandpere, by proxy) with us all over all these years. May God's blessing continue in your lives.

  26. I read this early in the day but came back to savor comments before adding my own. Congratulations to you both! I am so grateful you made the effort to meet when I was in New Orleans. I knew I had dear friends in Louisiana. May you have many more happy hears together, showered with blessings. And blessings on all your family too. You are dear to my heart.

  27. You are dear to everyones heart-- thanks for being here with us.

    Siempre good wishes,

  28. Many blessings on you both and may there be many more years to come. Fifty years is such an impressive achievement. Agreed with Dennis, you should write a book.

  29. Bonne Anniversaire!!! and all that. We are both delighted to congratulate you on 50 years together and the enrichment that you have brought to us in knowing you. You have of course provided us with a target to move on from following next week. We shall do our best to emulate your example.

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you all - from my heart.

    Dennis, the Taittinger was a hit with everyone.

    Tobias, thanks for the avounding blessings.

  31. God's choicest blessings upon both of you for years to come and thanks for the years that have been.

  32. That's such a lovely account of a very special day. And it gives all of us so much pleasure to share it it with you. With all the bad news around, it is good to see the evidence of your 50 years together. I raise a glass of virtual Taittinger to you both, and to all your family.

  33. You know, I've read the comments over and over, and I'm overwhelmed by the love expressed here. I am truly blessed to know all you lovely people, those whom I've met and those whom I know virtually. What a whole new world blogs opened for me - a world for which I am so very grateful. Thank you.

  34. Happy Anniversary - we are coming up on ours in a couple of years -- yes friendship is a big key and I think "slack" -- giving each other space to be a bit whacko occasionally.

  35. It sounds like a truly lovely day for two very lovely people. I use that same prayer and blessing from the marriage service for all anniversaries, since it is so lovely. Hope I still get to see the two of you in October.

  36. Neither Tom nor I like a lot of fuss, so we decided on a simple family meal, which worked out quite nicely. We're fortunate that our children live nearby.

    Amelia, about October,whether we go to the meeting is up to Tom. We'll let you know.

  37. Heureux 50e anniversaire!

    I was born 4 days after you married.

    I think that is very auspicious and delightful

    Many blessings to you both (and to your lovely family)!

  38. Brian, thank you. Your birthday is auspicious, indeed. My birthday is the day after yours, but years earlier, of course.

  39. I can't say you haven't aged, just a bit. All the best.

  40. well, what's left to say? what a good and loving marriage between two loving and thoughtful people! Much fun as u go into the future together!

  41. So that's what became of the baby, Brian.

  42. Adrian, I've aged? Say it isn't so!

    Thanks, Janis and Nij.

    Lapin, yes. Baby Bryan will graduate from high school this year.

  43. Happy anniversary! It is good to know such a wonderful couple. You are a blessing to many

  44. Love the pictures! How beautiful, how fun, how fine and joyous! May you have many more years of love and happiness with those whom you love and cherish.

  45. So great to be able to share in the festivities via the intertubes! Warmest congratulations to the two of you, and to the whole clan.

    It is really amazing how close many people feel to you via this mystery of blogging. As someone commented above, you probably don't know how much of your true self you have revealed over the years, Mimi, but I'm sure I'm not the only reader of 'Wounded Bird' who, though never having met you in the flesh, would trust you with her life.

  46. All the best from your northern "cousins" in Wisconsin. This was a grand post. Congrats!

  47. Huzzah!

    (My highest expression of joy and congratulations - sad, isn't it?)

  48. Felicitations. What a handsome couple and happy, too.


  49. Gefeliciteerd met jullie trouwdag, as we say in my native country, The Netherlands. In English, that's what every comment here has shouted out with joy: "Congratulations on your wedding anniversary."

  50. Thanks everyone. What am amazing and lovely thread of commentary.

    Mary Clara,your words about trust are quite moving and, I believe, true for many of us in our blogging community.

    Mark, your 'Huzzah!' is not at all sad. Thanks.

    JayV, thanks for the Netherlandish greeting.

  51. Dear, sweet Mimi, I'm so happy for you and Tom. You have a very lucky family to have such awesome role models for true and lasting partnership!

    -hugs to you both from BP

  52. Fellicitations et joyeuse anniversaire chere Mimi, bien-aimee.

    What a wonderful post
    What beautiful pictures

    Wishing you the fill meausre of all possibile blessings with the benefit (grace, and wisdom) of 50 years of loving.

    L'Achaim, chere Mimi- to Life!

  53. ¡Felicidades, you crazy kids! Many more years to you both.

    I use that same blessing at San Cristóbal when we celebrate folks' wedding anniversaries (we have people celebrating 60 years and more!) and then I say "You may kiss the bride." The congregation goes nuts as the couple kiss. And if I forget to say that, the rowdy parishioners start chanting "Beso, beso, beso" until they kiss. It's an important Anglican Tradition, as far as we're concerned.

    Feliz aniversario, pocito tarde.

    wv = boodi I believe that is what must be shaken at the wedding reception.

  54. BP, hugs back to you and thank you for your good wishes. I'll pass them on to Tom.

    Merci, cher David.

    Padre, muchas gracias. I will pass your practice along to Fr Ron.

  55. Congratulations, Mimi, and best wishes for the next fifty years. It's always nice to be reminded that some fortunate people do live happily ever after.

  56. Russ, thanks. Not that we haven't had had our share of peaks and valleys, but knowing what I know today, I would do it all over again.


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