“Ohana means family – no one gets left behind, and no one is ever forgotten.” – Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, Lilo & Stitch
Ohana is a word that I hold close to my heart. Where would I be without my family’s love, support, kind hearts and presence?
We all know the importance and value of family and my family celebrates our strong ties every week. Yep, every Sunday for the past 23 years, since my brother (Matt) was born, we have a family BBQ or the traditional Sunday Roast. That’s approximately 1,190 BBQ’s – fair effort I say! The BBQ’s came around because my parent’s had just had Matt and at a young age, trying to find their feet, my grandparents made sure that every Sunday they had a good ol’ home cooked meal and the tradition stuck.
Now we do dinners at everyone’s house and I spent my Sunday night at my Uncle and Aunties, Brett and Jules beautiful home. Easily said one of my favourite houses – stocking up on my fresh eggs from the chicken coup and my vegetables from the veggie patch, the boys on their toys, the fire burning and the wood fire pizza oven cooking! They have water tanks to hydrate the whole of Melbourne, a vegetable patch with the biggest zucchinis I have seen, stingy chickens and now, the beginnings of a sustainable trout farm!
WARNING: My family is healthy but not as full on as me so BEWARE images of red wine, cheeses and dumplings.
Two weeks ago we celebrated a huge milestone in our family – my grandparents, Marcia and Colin’s 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary! I was honored to do the speech in the presence of such pure and enduring love. [Below is my speech]
Mum, Dad, Matt, Nanna, Grandma, Grandpa, Brett, Jules, Kerrie, Rob, David, Jai, Sahara, Myah, Brodie, Chevi and my beautiful puppies, Bundi and Bailey, I just want to say and remind you all that I love you.
Grandma & Grandpa 50th Wedding Anniversary Speech
Although the wedding was many years ago, the celebration continues to this day. Not just in your hearts but in ours, especially our family.
The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret, whatever it is I think you have nailed it.
Fifty years on, fifty years strong. I haven’t, nor has the oldest grandchild even been around for half the amount of time you both have been married. But, I have been around long enough to see a bond full of pureness support, shape, encourage, and love a family, my family.
So, like wine, good buddies, improve with age. True companionship brings on a feeling quite like having completed a good meal. Something that our family is very familiar with – a. wine, b. food and c. of course golf.
What I love about all a, b and c, is that it brings us together, what family these days spends every Sunday night together knocking back 6 bottles, easily, of very decently aged wine accompanied by first class meat over a conversation about stable ford, stroke, handicaps etc! Or the fact that Grandma has cheekily tried to swap Grandpa’s top quality Uncle Toby Oats with Home brand, cheaper Oats IN the Uncle Toby’s box, to hear that Grandpa has instantly questioned and queried the new taste of his much loved morning bowl of oats. Grandma soon found out that she couldn’t get away with this one!
Over 23 years, it averages to about 1,190 BBQ’s, luckily, for 3 of those years you saved a bit of money on food because I wasn’t there to get my 4th helping! But, these Sunday BBQ’s have taught me the value of friendship within a family, the importance of sustaining contact with your loved ones, it has taught me how to use a knife and fork, to have the confidence to speak to adults in mature environment, the BBQ has helped shape me as a stronger, more resilient woman. Even though I don’t normally want to share the 2kg’s worth of eye fillet, I am incredibly lucky to sit at a table with of course the Monarch at the head of the table surrounded by my extended family.
You have and continue to nurture your family, you have already given so much, taken us to some of the most beautiful neighbouring destinations together, you’ve come to graduations and birthdays, school plays, ballet, football, anything and everything to do with our family you are there in any form you can be. So thank you, for giving our family such positive light, special opportunity, deep love and a last name no one forgets.
Now they say a mark of a good relationship is the sheer number of things you don’t have to say. I understood this on the TOOT’s Bali family trip. To show you both my infatuation with the entire design of Potato Head, the three of us ventured to the Beach Club at night. It was busy, we walked around, we admired but I admired you. It was that night that I understood and saw Grandpa’s love for Grandma, the way he treated her like lady, held her hand and protected her, showed me their true love. Walking behind them, I felt that love, I felt that protection, and I felt their bond. It’s the fact that the simplicity of holding hands or an adoring gaze, fifty years on really proves true love does exist.
Now from me to you.
Grandma I am glad you weren’t too busy to be here tonight, your spirit is glowing gold, you radiate. You beautiful woman you have raised three charming, stubborn, strong willed and bighearted children. Your willingness to give your all as mother, grandparent, loyal friend and loving wife is a true testament to who you are in spirit. You have shown us all what strength is, you show sensitivity and share love. You give your all, you give it to everyone, and you are the Queen of our family. Whether you are at the Post Office, which seems everyday or bouncing in water aerobics, swinging the golf club, you do it with life, you do it with passion, you do it with energy. I love you.
Now Grandpa. Words will never express my gratitude towards your influence upon my life. I must confess, a younger, more inexperienced me found the concept of ‘respecting her elders’ difficult to grasp, always asking why should I. A conversation that seemed to come up every Sunday leaving me red face from being overly opinionated on the subject, and now I look back I think a lot of intentional provoking had secret teachings behind it. I grew up and matured, I now understand the concept, now, I cannot begin to describe the respect I have for you. When you walk into Woodlands Club House, I smile because I am proud to be your Granddaughter, when you tell me I am beautiful, you make my day, when people ask my surname I am honored to share and say your last name. Matt and I can never speak highly enough of our Gramps, you have shown both of us the ropes to etiquette, respect, values and morals, you have given us some of life’s greatest teachings and some of those from a very young age. For all that you are, all that you have given and shared, you are a man I admire, look up to and over anything love with all that is in my heart. I love you.
I am simply proud and privileged to be your granddaughter.
In my opinion, you both struck gold. You are each other’s gold rush, you hit the jackpot, and you found what most never find. You found the gold vault.
Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence. Chains do not hold a marriage together, or some would like to differ but it is the hundreds of tiny threads, which have sewn you both together through the years, it’s the little things that make it so special and so irreplaceable.
A golden aura surrounds you two, a couple representing all that is right about marriage. A pair, who has triumphed over time, over challenges, prevailed over all yet a pair that continues to bond, help and love. A golden aura symbolizes selflessness, generosity, and happy compromise out of love for each other. You are a beautiful duo, and everyone here tonight wishes you every piece of happiness, comfort and peace for all the years to come. May your beautiful and admirable union be richly blessed and for your love to grow stronger. On that, I would like everyone to raise their glasses in a toast to my grandparents.
Half a century ago, they say, a wonderful marriage began that day. Two beautiful people joined as one, and worked together to make living fun. We celebrate now those fifty years, we raise our glass and give three cheers. To partners in life, in both work and play, it is our pleasure to share your golden day. Happy 50th Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa. Just remember one is never too old for romance, keep the spark a light – all you need is love. Three Cheers to the happy couple!
“The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.” – Kendall Hailey
“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!” – Albert Einstein
“Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.” – Author Unknown
“The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” – Erma Bombeck
Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised & today is short.
[The Natural Fork, Knife & Plate Series - Just be]
*Disclaimer: All photographs in bLANk’s ‘Natural Fork, Knife & Plate Series’ are taken by bLANk and rightly owned by bLANk