50th Anniversary

See those two kids up there? That's my parents, 50 years ago.

Tonight, my Preacher and I reserved an entire semi-private room of a restaurant, and treated the whole clan to dinner, to celebrate.

(chaperoning these kids to their own 50th anniversary celebration...)

Every member of the family came, all the way down to the littlest one:

I noticed during the course of the evening, as we laughed and ate and ate and ate...two complete strangers in the other room were observing. They even turned their chairs and leaned to be able to see everything!

When I made a little time to step out of our room to greet them, I noticed one lady had tears in her eyes.

She said, "I'm sorry to be so nosey, but your family is so special. We couldn't help but notice all the decorations, and the fact that those must be your parents and some of those young people must be your children. And those babies are beautiful."

The look in her eyes....well, I cannot quite explain it to you. Wistful, I think.

At that moment, my youngest son, who overheard our conversation, stepped out, put his arm around me, and said, "I am sure you wonder where I got my height. I am the tallest one in the room...and I am this beautiful woman's son. I got my height from the UPS man."


I expected the moment to be totally blown for these people...for the testimony of it all to be lost.

They. Ate. It. Up.

They thought my boy was the cutest thing they'd ever seen. They nearly rolled in the floor laughing.

Later, I saw them ask my daughter Sarah if they could hold my grand daughter! Who does that??! I was so tickled at these strangers and their longing to participate in the celebration. It truly did not offend me...it was the icing on the cupcake of a perfect night!

Sarah let them try to hold her...and of course, little Aidyn Esther howled in protest.

And my grandson practically had them eating out of his hand. Then my mother went out of our room to their table and showed them one of her gifts from the night...

...and we said goodbye to them as we left.

Yes. I have a goodly heritage.

Happy anniversary, mom and dad!

My family. Every relationship, intact and thriving, in spite of the tremendous strains that imperfect families experience.

Tonight was, for me, living a dream I have not earned and do not deserve.

My family. Trophies of grace, we are....and I can honestly say that even strangers can see something special there between us.

Grace and Peace,

Sheila Atchley

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