A Truly Golden Thanksgiving

Tomorrow will be a really special day! Yes, because it’s Thanksgiving but also because it will commemorate 50 years of marriage for my parents, Jim and Donna Heath.

Looking through my photo album I’m amazed at how young and innocent my parents looked. I can’t help but be astounded at how far we’ve come when I look back at the events that happened in 1957:

  • Russians launched Sputnik 2 (NOVEMBER 3, 1957);
  • An unknown singer named Patsy Cline wins on CBS’ Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts program with a rendition of the song “Walking After Midnight.”
  • The Top Ten Songs on the Radio: 1. “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On,” Jerry Lee Lewis; 2. “Jailhouse Rock,” Elvis Presley; 3. “Peggy Sue,” Buddy Holly; 4. “You Send Me,” Sam Cooke; 5. “Come Go With Me,” The Del-Vikings; 6. “School Day,” Chuck Berry; 7. “Lucille,” Little Richard; 8. “Little Darlin’,” The Diamonds; 9. “Blue Monday,” Fats Domino; 10. “Wake Up Little Susie,” The Everly Brothers;
  • The worst Tornado Outbreak ever recorded across US, at least 9 separate tornados hit the Louisana/Texas area;
  • Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps make their US television debut, performing “Lotta Loving” and “Dance to the Bop” on CBS’ Ed Sullivan Show
  • A very young Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel make their first TV appearance on ABC-TV’s “American Bandstand” (NOVEMBER 22, 1957)
  • Mickey Mantle wins AMERICAN League MVP (most valuable player) (NOVEMBER 22 1957)

After getting married my parents promptly began their life, not even taking the time to have a honeymoon. My Dad joined the military and after several moves, ended up in California. There, they reared a family of six kids. While we weren’t well off in the financial sense we were very blessed with lots of love for each other. My parents dedicated themselves to their children with Scouts, Little League, music lessons, camping trips, swimming lessons, school plays, fishing excursions, dancing festivals, school sports, all while working full time–all the usual activities that fill up a life time. And now, during a time where they should be living a quiet retired life, they are raising a second family with three rambunctious teen-aged boys! For some time, it has been a trend to blame our parents for all that’s wrong with us, but when I look back at our lives I have to admit that my parents not only did the best they could, they did a HECK of a lot.

I look at my brothers and sister and am so proud of how they turned out and, while we each have faced challenges, we’ve been able to meet them with determination and graciousness. All of which is due to my Mom’s and Dad’s parenting skills, who taught us that it is our differences that make us valuable and that no matter what happens we are family first.

Even though it’s been a very difficult year for all of us with the loss of both my grandmothers, both of my parents’ mothers, I realized I have a lot to be thankful for on this special day, starting first with my parents. So, tomorrow, when I say my prayers of thanksgiving, they will be at the top of my list!

Happy Thanksgiving Every One!

Love,
April
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