50th Anniversary -Actually 51st Anniversary

As I was starting to write this, my dear dad reminded me of my math issues and said it’s actually their 51st anniversary as they were married January 5, 1969…at least I am decent at writing and being a therapist.

So today would have been the 50th (51st) Anniversary of my parents. It technically still is even though my mom is not here in this realm with us in physical form.

Since I can’t give them a traditional anniversary card, I was pondering over how I can honor them and what this day means for them.

So I am choosing to write them individual letters.

Dear Dad,

Happy Anniversary- it seems unimaginable that this day 50 (51) years ago you and mom decided to choose each other. Although I was not there, I have been fortunate enough to hear all the fun stories from y’all and our family and friends. You were so very handsome and hopeful and happy and every picture shows it clearly. The honeymoon story in Gatlinburg is one of the funniest and I can hear Mom’s laugh ( who couldn’t?!) when telling the story about the chimney flue.

Your relationship with her and your ability to express your love for her was a gift, not only for her, but for your children as well. You embodied the act of wholehearted love. And it benefited all of us. So Thank You.

When the first cancer diagnosis came, there you were- ready to fight alongside her- and helping to take care of me and O during that whole bed resting month when J was trying to come out too soon and M was traveling far away for work. What a scary time and yet I remember the laughter,too.

And then just a few years later, when the second cancer came to rock our world completely, there you were, doing every single thing you could to support and help and advocate for her. It’s so hard to even write about it- but know that I was a front seat witness to your remarkable relationship with her.

So on this day of reflection- please know that your generosity of heart and time and spirit and resources- not only within your marriage, but within your whole family- will continue to be seen and celebrated and respected. As my mother’s daughter, I know she felt your loving kindness and that she is still feeling it and smiling. And loving you right back.

I love you,


Dear Mom,

Can you believe it’s your 51st Wedding Anniversary?! That is a lot of years. Thank you for showing me and talking to me about what marriage really is – not some bullshit Disney princess fantasy- but that it means choosing each day to be patient and loving and frustrated and understanding and giving up the notion that it’s better to be right. Your calm and peaceful energy was such a complement to dad’s and I saw how it played out in the energy of your relationship.

I know you have been with us in a different way for these past( almost ) 9 years. A day does not go by that you are not missed. We love to go to your house and look at all the old pictures. I see you in myself and in my children- and in Dad.

How proud of him are you that he is FINALLY learning to put all of his things ( keys, wallet, phone) in THE SAME PLACE?! I know you are.

The legacy you left ( and are still creating) is profoundly and deeply felt by us all. The love you poured into all of us continues to benefit us and is a powerful resource from which to pull from on the days we need it the most. And Dad does a beautiful job of expressing this during his annual toast at Thanksgiving at your house. Your effusive warmth and laughter is with us in that house and in the homes of each of our hearts. I carry it with me always. So thank you.

And even though anniversary celebrations change when one person dies, know that I celebrate you and dad and the many gifts your relationship created.

I love you,


13 thoughts on “50th Anniversary -Actually 51st Anniversary

  1. Dear Melissa,
    First, I’ll admit as I read your most beautiful testament to Sandra and I a wonderful tear or two flowed easily.
    And yes, I glowed a bit as I read on…..
    Sandras calmness, love, and unique way of bringing calm to any situation was one of her many strengths. She truly was an angel on earth! As we all have learned to live our lives without her physical presence we are blessed with not only the most wonderful memories but with so much more! Our family is strong because of her strength and love for all of us! Thank you for such beautiful heartfelt words!


  2. Beautifully done, Melissa! Although I never met you, (I know your Dad through Richloom, NY) I can tell you are a precious gem!
    I really like your Dad; he has a great sense of humor, attitude, and is a very compassionate man. I never met your mom, but I know she must have been so very wonderful! Your anniversary letters were a tribute to a wonderful marriage that produced fabulous children. May 2020 be a healthier year for you. Dori Critelli


  3. Melissa, your words are beautiful. No party ever could say as much as these few paragraphs about the Katz love story. Thank you for sharing.


  4. Hi Melissa. I have not had the pleasure of meeting you, but I feel as if I know you. I have known your Mom and Dad my whole life. In 6th grade, my parents drove me to pick up my “girlfriend” Sandra Silverboard at the house on Lenox road. for my first official date. Eddie greeted me at the door. Your tribute to your parents speaks volumes about you and them. Beautiful!
    Robert Alterman


      1. Your Dad and I go way back also. Young an foolish during a simpler time. Love Roy and loved your sweet Mom.


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