CHEERS to 50 Golden Years
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond & Kathryn Dandurand, Jr.
After 50 years of marriage, it’s difficult for me, their daughter, to express how rare, amazing and profound my parents’ marriage is. I tried to formulate a sequence of events of how my Dad, an airman in the Air Force from Troy, NY, and my mother, a farm girl from Massachusetts turned factory worker ever became “an item” who would get married on March 25, 1967. However, their story is so special and unique that I just couldn’t find the words. The tale of their wedding seems so small in comparison to the journey they've been on since that day.
Throughout their 50 years as husband and wife, my parents Kathy and Ray, have weathered many storms together that a modern day couple might flinch at and give up. During their marriage, my Dad served in the Air Force and did a tour in Vietnam, my Mom took care of my invalid grandfather who had multiple strokes and heart attacks, raised her very young brother (20 year age difference), raised 4 of their own children, both held full time jobs (sometimes more than one at a time each) and never missed a beat to make sure we had a roof over our heads, warm food in our bellies and memories to last a life time. Some may call this “life” and everyone “goes through it” but my parents’ journey is admirable and extraordinary to me.
Too often we see people throw in the towel and give up because it gets to be too difficult. However, when the days seemed long, money extremely tight and there’s enough stress to make a balloon burst never waivered my parents bond together. At a young age to get married (20!), when others in my parents’ life said their marriage wouldn’t last 6 months, they surpassed that expectation by FAR! Imagine being married to the same person for 50 years… predicting each other’s thoughts, how they’ll react to a situation, knowing how they like their meals prepared, who pays the bills, cleans the gutters, grocery shops, disciplines the children, etc., etc., etc.! It’s so rare these days to see people “stick together” and get through all the thunderstorms to the rainbows.
WELL OVER 1,000 times I heard my parents say they were a “team” and they always had each other’s backs! For my brothers and I, that meant we couldn’t ask Mom or Dad for permission to do something when the other one said ‘no”. Whenever it came to an important decision like disciplining one of us, household purchases or whatever life would throw at them, my parents have ALWAYS done it together.
I am extremely proud of my Mom and Dad’s accomplishments as a married couple! Being married myself for nearly 15 years, I can marginally appreciate the extent of what they’ve been through in their life together. I have seen numerous couples around me (as a kid and adult) who found the road of marriage to be too difficult to travel together and have parted ways.
The reasons that people get married are different from their reasons to stay married. It’s never easy and surely is an adventure. I am extremely fortunate to have my parents and witness their marriage throughout the years. At their age of 70, the respect my parents have for one another and the unique bond they have cannot be broken nor compromised.
At Berkshire Bride, I tell my brides, “We’ll take you from ‘I Will’ to ‘I Do’ the rest is up to you”. Nurturing, cultivating and being on the “team” for 50 years is such an amazing accomplishment. In the words of their wedding song, “Cherish” by the Association, “Cherish me as much as I cherish you” sums it up. To make it last, one has to respect, honor, and love the person he/she is with ALWAYS.
Thank you, Mom & Dad, for always having “each other’s backs”! CHEERS to 50 Golden Years!!!