Today, my parents celebrate their 50th Wedding anniversary. I have been thinking about this for a while and am awed by this achievement. How many couples today can attain this level of unity? The symbolism of 50 has long been considered as the attainment of “the total man”. It also represents 2 generations and “the spiritual ascension to the intuition, the number of the illumination” according to Karl von Eckartshausen. There are also many allusions to 50 in the Bible, but all in all, 50 was the number related to “joy” and the “feast”. I think that 50 represents reflection and celebration.
Families come in different shapes and sizes. They all have their own individual beliefs and traditions. Mine is no exception. We are a large one, as my parents were courageous enough to have six children. Growing up in a large family means there was lots of work involved coordinating various activities and schedules. My mother dedicated her life to raising her children and family. She worked tirelessly ensuring that we were all nurtured in mind and body. My Father worked very hard to maintain and support our large family. Together they each assumed respective and traditional roles to balance and raise our family.
Food has always been a wonderful part of my upbringing. Both of my parents are great cooks and I have learned much of my early cooking techniques from them. From an early age, the joy of cooking was inculcated in my life as a “sous-chef”. I was called to help with tasks such as cutting and cleaning vegetables, cleaning shrimp and crabs, stirring pots, and folding wantons or dumplings to name a few. My Dad was a late-night cook in our kitchen. Much to our joy as children and my mother’s chagrin, he would potter around the kitchen at 9pm on a whim; cooking up a quick beef curry or stew or his famous Chinese funcee soup, a Chicken soup with clear rice noodles, mushrooms and ginger and scallion! He would tell us ” children, you have to clean up everything after we eat, so mom doesn’t get angry when she comes downstairs in the morning “! My mother was usually already in bed, more than often seething that my dad had decided to mess up her kitchen in a late night moment of spontaneous cooking.
My mother is an all-round great cook. She has a more organized kitchen routine than my father , and is well known for her delicious meals. She has always made amazing food and baked goodies such as cakes, meat patties, pine tarts, and Chinese black bean cakes. She continues to spoils us with her pumpkin fritters and fudge and the list goes on and on. Mealtimes at our home were always the family time when we sat around the table and discussed the day and our activities. I have adopted this for my family and is sacred. Each evening, our table is set and we all have dinner together. Even though my siblings and I no longer live in the same country, our family reunions are always a time of cooking and gathering around the communal table. There is great joy and laughter as we reminisce on our lives in Guyana. Now, we gather more often in the USA where most of them reside. One of my greatest joys is when we all meet. My parent’s house overflows with their children and grandchildren. Though there is great confusion with the sheer number of us all together; you can rest assured that there will be several culinary exploits planned.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! Thank you for being wonderful parents and for setting examples of success through unity and perseverance. I was once told that the best present you could give a child is a brother or sister! I firmly agree with this as I have been blessed by having 2 sisters and 3 brothers. Congratulations on reaching your Golden Anniversary. Thank you for your life lessons and your love. God bless you both.