Here’s To 30 Years
Cara’s parents taught her everything it meant to be a family. Now that she’s grown up and moved away, she feels more than ever how important those life lessons and simple moments with her mom and dad really are. To celebrate their 30 years of marriage, Cara got them a personalized song as a unique anniversary unique to let them know how much she loves them, how much she cherishes their memories together, and how much she admires the family they’ve built over the years.
“My mom and dad are named Beth and Craig and they met at the University of Alabama in the mid-80s. She is from southern West Virginia and he is from the suburbs of Pittsburgh. They got married in May 1987 in West Virginia when they were both 24 years old.
I’m now the same age that my parents were when they got married, and I’m just now realizing that they’ve really grown up together. They’ve moved from Alabama to Tennessee to Los Angeles to New Jersey (where I was born in 1992) and finally settled in Georgia where my brother Drew was born in 1996.
They’ve raised two children, put us both through college, gone through two job losses and dealt with my grandparents getting older and sick.
“We’ve had a rough few years as a family. They’ve both handled all of life’s changes with such strength and while they didn’t necessarily make it look easy, they showed us that our family was worth the work and the struggle.”
My dad is a thoughtful and initially reserved man, but when he opens up, he’s so funny. He’s so kind and patient. Some of my most treasured memories with my dad come from reading together when I was in early elementary school. We would lie on the bed together and he would read classic books — I will always hold these memories with me. More special times with my dad came from fun camping trips and other adventures. I had the best time with my daddy playing with sticks in the fire and hiking and doing other outdoor activities.
My mom is the most loving person I’ve ever met. She gives of herself until she can’t anymore and has an empathetic spirit. Some of my special memories with my momma come from spending summers with her family in West Virginia. We would catch lightening bugs together in the summer, drink cider, play games by the fire in the winter, and go shopping at Gabe’s. I’ve loved these moments ever since I was a little girl and look back fondly on our shopping trips and special times. As I got older, I started to cherish going to early matinee movies with my mom. It’s such a simple thing, but I loved being able to spend time just with my mom. Now when I come back home, I always look forward to this activity.
Some of our favorite memories involve summer golf-cart rides, yearly tropical vacations and eating pretzels with Diet Cokes.
“Simple moments with them are the most special to me.”
My parents mean the world to me. I’m now 24 years old, have graduated college and moved to New England (which my dad hates because he’s a Steelers fan and detests the Patriots!). Being far away from them has made me realize even more how much they worked to provide me and my brother with the best life possible.
They valued hard work and wanted us to try our hardest, but never failed to tell us how much they loved and cared for us. They’ve shown me how to build a life.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to articulate how much I love them and how grateful I am for the life they created for us. I love our family and am so thankful I am a part of it. I miss them every single day.”