Please join me and other Catholic bloggers at Jen’s Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday.
We’re technically in June now (and no longer in our anniversary month) but I figure we’re close enough, so I’d like to share seven of my favorite wedding and anniversary gifts over the years (in no particular order).
1. Embroidered “Life is Fragile: Handle with Prayer” Picture
We received this beautiful framed embroidered picture as a wedding gift. James’ cousin spent hours working on this awesome gift for us. It has remained in our living room in a prominent place for the past 30 years.
For our 25th anniversary, my mother and mother-in-law bought a robotic vacuum cleaner for us (knowing that I didn’t often vacuum). In the beginning, it was more valuable to us as entertainment for the kids and somehow or other, I lost track of it. Last year, I saw a commercial on TV for it and wondered where it had ended up. I found it a short while later when I was cleaning out the storage area. I began using it and have come to really appreciate it. I mainly use it for the kitchen floor and I must admit that it does an amazing job. It only takes a few minutes of preparing to make sure the chairs, cat bowls etc are brought up off the floor. It takes about an hour to vacuum our large kitchen, but I can accomplish other tasks while it’s vacuuming.
3. Prayer Card
In a previous post, I mentioned the prayer card that my sister and the other Dominican sisters sent for our anniversary. It continues to hold a special place in our home and in our hearts.
4. Papal Blessing
Also for our 25th wedding anniversary, our friends, Chris and Brenda, enlisted the help of a mutual friend (a priest we both know) to get us a papal blessing. This also has a prominent place in our living room.
5. 25th Anniversary Homily
When we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, a close priest friend of ours con-celebrated the Mass with our parish priest. In his homily, he said, “I note especially five wonderful persons who were not present on May 22, 1982: Josh, Ben, Tim, Adam and Paul. I don’t need to tell you too much about that evening when your mom and dad publicly vowed their love. You are the first witnesses of that love. It bought you to life and it continues to nurture you to maturity. Through the years, you have seen your parents day by day striving (and I like to add “struggling”) to be true to each other and to love and honor each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health...”
6. Wedding Song
For our wedding, James wrote a song called “Forever Amen.” The lyrics are included in my novel, Emily’s Hope. Below is a photo of James and our friend, Pat, singing: first at our wedding, then at our 25th anniversary celebration.
7. The Last Supper (Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy)
Five years ago, when we were in Europe chaperoning 40 students, our fellow chaperones, Chris and Belinda, took us on a surprise trip to Milan to see Leonardo’s The Last Supper. This was not on the agenda for our trip, so we took a cab to Santa Maria delle Grazie. Upon arriving, we discovered that the tickets needed to be purchased three weeks in advance. Chris tried (and even begged) but the man behind the counter would not acquiesce. “Sorry,” he said (in Italian), “No tickets for today.” We stood outside the church trying to decide what to do. Our friend made one more attempt, with no luck. Disappointed, we asked the cab to wait for us while we took a few photos outside of the church. As we were getting into the cab, a man came running up to us and said, “Professori?”
“Yes, yes!” Chris said, now looking hopeful, “We’re teachers!”
“Come with me,” the man said in a thick Italian accent.
The man proceeded to take us to the ticket counter. We gave him our money and he purchased our tickets, then he accompanied us to wait with a group of Japanese tourists. As he walked with us, we kept thanking him for getting us into the chapel.
When we arrived in the room with the Last Supper, I could hardly catch my breath, it was so breathtaking. The chapel was darkened and quiet, the beautiful painting by Leonardo illuminated by soft lighting.
For more Quick Takes, head over to Conversion Diary.
Photos and text copyright 2012 Ellen Gable Hrkach