Girl on Fire: Happy anniversary

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, August 20, 2015]

Today is Aug. 20. Historical events for today include:

• the American Civil War ended in 1866,

• NASA launched Voyager 2 into space in 1977,

• in 1988, a ceasefire was agreed upon after almost eight years of fighting in the Iran-Iraq War,

• in 1992, American singer Demi Lovato was born,

• Hollywood starlet Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries married in 2011,

• it’s World Mosquito Day,

• and it’s my parents’ 32nd anniversary.

My sister, Breezy, and I never did a whole lot for my parents on their anniversary because I think to them, it’s not super important. They’ve always been that way: it’s just another day.

I kind of like that theory.

That sounds a little strange and heartless, so let me explain. An anniversary is the marking of a special day. It shows how many years I’ve worked with the CNA and Creston Fire Department. It shows how many years I’ve been alive (which will be 26 on Saturday). It shows the amount of years it’s been since the beginning of peace after World War II (which was in April and May of 1945), or how long it’s been since the death of someone famous, like Truman Capote (who died Aug. 25, 1984).

But, my parents’ theory, as I’ve witnessed these last soon-to-be 26 years, is an anniversary is just another day to be together.

My dad, Craig, has never been a romantic. My mom, Karen, told me the story of their engagement: my mom was helping him with his finances one day and he had stuffed the ring under a pile of papers. Maybe it’s just me, but when I get married I certainly don’t want to find my ring amid bank statements. But, that is just how my dad is. It didn’t matter to my mom because she loved him then, and still does.

My parents live life to the fullest, and taking one day to celebrate their wedding day just isn’t their style. I asked my mom what they planned on doing today, and she told me they’d be walking in the morning with the dog, just like they do every other day. They spend weekends camping at Saylorville Lake near Des Moines and Lake Red Rock near Pella, and they are even planning on camping at Green Valley for their first Creston Balloon Days next month.

That’s why I like their theory. Anniversaries have their place, but sometimes it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been together. It matters how those years have been spent. And, the 32 years my parents have spent together have been wonderful. My sister and I were born during those 32 years. We’ve lived in two different states in the Midwest. We’ve had pets, and done so many neat things together, and saying one day embodies all of that takes credit away from the other 364 days every year.

So, happy anniversary to my two wonderful parents, and I hope today is just as amazing as every other day is together!

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