John and Jenny celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary at their new residence and estate.
50th Wedding Anniversary
John and Jenny lived at newly bought house on the slopes of hills, amidst a sprawling estate with lush greenery. It was bought in memory of their 50th Wedding Anniversary. John had toiled through his long service as a community doctor. He was known for his ready to serve attitude, and his compassion to alleviate suffering, rich and poor alike, familiar in the community as Dr. J. Jenny assisted him down hills at their clinic . Jenny was a popular social worker, ready to help poor and needy. She was a popular heath worker too assisting her husband in his service. Many a time they felt its enough service done they should reduce it and take rest, enjoy niceties of life.
Dr. J. resting in the garden after the day’s hectic practice at the clinic, was enjoying the chirping and squeaks of the birds, returning to their nest. The evening Sun slowly drifted behind the top of hills, a red aura all over the sky. Jenny joined him with warm and refreshing Tea, mulling the saga of their wedded life, the glorious memories of their first meet at college, their participation in the drama they enacted in the college silver jubilee event and the likes. Hours past, both were immersed in their own past memories, oblivious of surroundings. Sun set an hour back, garden lights were on, twinkling stars were all over the dark sky.
A call on their cell phone jolts them to wake up from dreams!
“Hi, Mom and Dad, Henry speaking, ……..” it was Captain Henry, their commercial pilot son and Laura , daughter-in-law both aged fifties .
“We’re fine, how’re you? What are your plans visiting us? We urge you’re here quite in time, with Laura and children, we need to celebrate the purchase of our new house.” Jenny pleaded for his visit soon.
"I know it’s life’s most precious day, to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, sure, We'll be there on a month’s vacation to be with you to organize the celebrations, it’s 8th Nov, eagerly waiting for. Laura is even more eager to spend happy times with you. Please remind our memories to Dad …………”
"It’s already fifty years spent as couple, what a fast passage of time! A memorable life tread with all ups and downs, celebrations and toils" Jenny thought.
John retired from practice once he noticed fatigue and failing health pushed him to rest ,repeated breaks in his work as a doctor is a cause of worry, Jenny too got affected down with bouts of ill health and its fallout. They closed the clinic, moved into new house bought for living happy retired life. Hearing was failing, memories often missed recall, but they kept spirits up and kicking , spending time gardening and beatifying the residence.
Sitting in the garden, eagerly awaited their son and daughter in law, every now and then looking for mails and messages from them. Days rolled by, were restless waiting. After retirement the desire to meet son's family and grand children grew , contact with friends and patients dwindled, health issues aggravated, they couldn't travel, seeking a family meet.
Suddenly dim lights moved in to their estate, maybe it’s a vehicle, Jenny is curious “What could it be?........At this late hours what else, it’s the estate agent to pester and demand his dues? No it couldn’t be, I have denied him till he completes his work, arrange release of papers pending with the previous owner. What else could it be?”
“Lo the car is parked at the portico” Jenny couldn’t wait but run curiously. The tall lean white haired Henry alighted followed by fair, lean blonde Laura.
“What a great surprise, my son you’ve gone down a lot” hugged him with warmth of a mother exuding.
“Hi mom, dad, how’re you? we're intent join you immediately, lots to arrange, the day is approaching fast “We’re glad to see you keeping fit.” embraced them each, curious about the deal of new home they bought..
The dad was reaction less, watching them mute, eyes pale, lifeless. Henry helped him get up and walk into his room and returned to Jenny and Laura at the gardens.
Leading them in to the guest room, Jenny hurried to kitchen telling “Have a wash, freshen up, I’ll prepare a quick dinner, we’ll have it at leisure.”
After their wash all of them gathered at dining table, seeing Jenny busy cooking, the Henry’s joined to assist her.
How’re our darlings Lilly and Jake?, my son, why didn’t you bring them? We miss them a lot
“Mom, it’s their peak study time they aren’t available even to us to talk , many a time we have to wait, we thought they will spend their holidays with you, hope you agree” John solaced the mom.
“Yes I agree, they can be free to enjoy our new house ambience, it has lots of trees and vegetation they would relish. It’s a good idea they stay with us during summer holidays”
Laura quickly arranged the table, kept the dishes on the food trolley and dragged it to dining. “ Mom, you and john please adjourn to dining and continue , I will join you after tidying up the kitchen a bit” enthusiastically engaged herself in cleaning the clutter.
Jenny sat beside John, while Henry’s sat on the other side facing them.
Henry expressed concern about dad’s failing memories quite often, “I think he should solve puzzles and games available online” looked at Mom .
“It’s not only his but my problem too” Mom laughed “ Sometimes I search keys, all around home, holding in my hand!”
Henry’s laughed loudly at it, Dad was quick to chide sarcastic “The lady bug won’t know she has black dots on back. Still points blemish of others!”
Burst in laughter at dad’s remark, kept up talking into late night.
On the birthday eve, 7 November , the new house and estate wore a festive look, decorated with colorful lights spread all peripheral trees, with welcome boards beaming with flickering colored lights. Cars parked on either side of the approach road. The couple were seated on a dais decorated with colorful lights, colored paper buntings. Invitees sat in the well of the hall, early birds stood in long que to wish the couple, snap photographs in memory of their friendship. After greeting the couple with presents, walked to buffet dinner. Late night, when all invitees left, Henry and Laura stood beside parents for a photo, and adjourned for dinner. Overcome with joy Jenny and John couple happily accompanied Henry’s back home.
On eighth November they assembled at Garden table. Laura brought a box wrapped with glittering paper. Henry covered the couple with Kashmiri shawls , presented the box greeting them with best wishes for a heathy and happy life ahead.
Curious Mom, Jenny opened the wrapper paper layer by layer, took out silver studded frame, it’s their first wedding anniversary photo the children had preserved safe.
An inscription at the bottom of the portrait read “We cherish you’r saga of fifty years’ wedded life, mom and dad, wish you happy and healthy long wedded life ahead……Laura, Henry and your favorite Lilly n Jake”