Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy 25th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Windsor, CA & Healdsburg, CA

Vaness and I had the good fortune to be able to surprise my parents for their 25th anniversary celebration. It was really more of a surprise to the guests though.. my mom is too smart for stuff like that… After I told her we weren’t able to make it up to the Bay, she says to my dad – well, they still might come… You can’t really sneak stuff by your mom – even at this age – momma always knows.

At any rate, my mom and dad spent a day alone together in Windsor before the whole family came to join them for a 25th Anniversary/March & April Birthday celebration extravaganza… we were glad to be able to join our entire family at a small resort property in Windsor for a day of play… BBQ’n, swimming, eating, and just a straight up good time. My Uncle Reimel says that a wedding anniversary is the birthday of the family. ‘Tis true, ‘tis true… and I have to say that after 25 years of marriage, their example to me is always one of strength, love, affection, and work – lots of hard work… Well of course I had to have a camera in my face during the celebration.. hope you enjoy some of the little details!

Lumpia is like a Filipino French fry – it goes with everything. Yoouuu know what I’m talkin about…

I don’t know if you’re supposed to play ping-pong with 2 paddles, but my wife will try to make anything work… I see a small look of guilt in the last picture!

We all got into it!

Real life can hit you like a ton of bricks if you’re not careful – and even if you are – there will always be a day that comes that tests everything you are made of… True story, and for many who were in attendance at Vaness and my wedding, it was a reality that not everyone realized. Here are my two cousins, Caitlin and Geordi.

Beyond just being good kids in general (because that just doesn’t do them justice) I believe they will continue to grow into the world and be positive contributors to the greater good… Kind, gentle, and fun – they love family and know (probably not consciously though) how to make you smile… Close family is an easy way to describe them and my Uncle Reimel and Tita Myra, but even that isn’t enough of a description… Our whole family is very close really - aunts, uncles, cousins - and knowing that fact helps understand what challenged our entire family just a day and a half before Vaness and I got married…

I got a voicemail at 3am the night before the wedding rehearsal… My phone had been off for most of the night and in truth, Vaness and I were having a rough day together – the stresses of the weekend, might just have been getting the best of us really… It all looks petty now in hindsight. I normally don’t check new voicemails in the middle of the night, but something compelled me to just find out what it could have been. The message on the other end is something I’ll never forget and probably never really believed. The sound of a heart monitor beeping rhythmically in the background and the murmurs of hospital locations and medical speak I did not understand… I was confused – I wouldn’t believe it. In the middle of the second listen, I received a text message… Call now! –Uncle Reimel. I’ll never forget that. It still can bring me to tears. After making the frantic call, I realized that everything – my whole perspective on the weekend that was my wedding was about to change. Life began to creep to a slow stop and nothing much mattered except my family… Vaness and I arrived at the hospital at 345am… I still couldn’t believe it… I was told that they were involved in a serious accident on the freeway, maybe 20 minutes away from their San Diego destination. My Aunt was airlifted to another hospital, and the rest of my uncle’s family to Scripps. Critical condition. Leaving a lot of the story out, you can just imagine the scene… The one thing I will say is, in a situation like that, you come to the scene with no real expectation that you can really do anything – aside from providing the comfort of seeing a familiar face, I felt helpless – like I could do nothing, but wish there was a way to rewind time… Not surprisingly, I found my assignment and I believe it was the core reason for the entire family’s survival. I was asked to pray. On the spot. I was almost speechless...helpless… but I knew I had to… “Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” I still don’t remember what I prayed that night. But, I know that my entire family prayed... for weeks... A second chance at life was given and I can’t say enough how glad and thankful I am that they are alive and well... Recovered and safe... Praise God.

So I was grateful that the day after we had had our fun celebrating at Windsor, my family and my uncle Reimel’s family were able to spend time together going to Healdsburg, a quaint little town of shops and scenery… Here are a few shots the place we visited together…

After our little excursion to Healdsburg, we stopped and picked up a few things at the Petaluma Outlets then had dinner at the Roadhouse in Marin for one last celebration!

Happy 25th Anniversary Mom and Dad!! You guys are the best… Here’s to the birthday of our family… Cheers!


Jasmine Marie said...

What a beautiful celebration of life and love. :)

ohana photographers-david and kimi said...

ah day-am that lumpia. posting that was just cruel!! happy anniversary to your parents!!

Pops said...

Lt. Dan, thank you for coming up to Windsor with your bride to share in the celebration-everyone means so much. Your tribute of my brother and his family is heartfelt and I'm reminded of our blessings. You honor your Mom and me with your words and pictures. I'm proud of my 25+ years of marriage to your Mom and on our anniversary date in Maui recently we automatically had that compelling thought and feeling of bringing our children back to visit. Celebrate together! Anytime, anywhere, anyhow--just because...Pops