Monday, September 14, 2009

'50' And Counting

On Wednesday, September 16th, we will celebrate 50 years of marriage. This is no small thing and certainly worth celebrating! This milestone is a family event and to be a 'proper' (as the English would say) party, it ought to be done with family. Well.... we're blessed for now to have a temporary family here in London and they gave us a 'proper' party last Friday evening, complete with invitations, favors, balloons, wonderful food, flowers and most of all -- Friendship. If you would care to, you can join the party here.

Just a word or two about being together for fifty years. It's not been all smooth sailing, but then as Harold B. Lee once said, "A smooth sea does not a skillful mariner make." I would recommend an occasional 'disagreement' so you can better appreciate the smooth sea moments -- well maybe 'recommend' is not the right word, but you get the idea. We've had a wonderful life together and counting blessings would overload my abacus.

As I think back I'm not sure it all began with a clear focus on how serious and important this all was. I was in love and as the saying goes, "a team of wild horses couldn't have kept me away from Barbara." But the importance and seriousness grew and came into clearer focus as I truly learned the gospel, where it says things like, "cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh", "whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever", "heirs together of the grace of life" and finally "new and everlasting covenant of marriage."

Most of all I married right. In the September Ensign President Uchtdorf says, "The scriptures give us names of several women who have blessed individuals and generations." I would include in that list - Barbara. She has blessed my life and continues to do so. I am the "best-cared-for" man in London. You would not believe some of the meals we have that she makes seemingly out of thin air. Proverbs Chapter 31:11-31 describes her to a "T" and truly "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her."

Our children get a lot of credit for this milestone; they have helped us along and trained us well. We have been blessed with five wonderful children - Brian, Barry, Rich, Julie and Jane - each with unique and individual talents and gifts. Their choices and the lives they live are a rich reward for a 50-year marriage. Add to that Jana, Nannette, Tammy, Matt and Jake and the rewards double. But that's not as good as it gets -- at the end of our 50-year marriage rainbow is truly a pot of golden grandchildren, who we cherish and love dearly. We are ever amazed and impressed with their activities and achievements that make us smile, laugh, clap, cheer... and bring us joy. Our hearts are full; we love you lots!

Lastly to our friends, we say thank you for joining us in this grand trip, bumps and all. We love you and look forward to lots of fun times yet to come.

God bless you all,

Elder and Sister Watts


Julie Freeman said...

You made me cry! I miss you guys so much and wish we could be there. I'm sure grateful for your 50 years!

Barry Watts said...

Dad, you really shouldn't make me teary eyed while I'm at work.
That was perfectly said. I need a bigger abacus too. Thanks to you both for all your sacrifice for us, your good teachings and example. Our marriages are all better because of the way you honor yours. I wish we could celebrate with you. We miss and love you. Congratulations!

Jane said...

awww, Dad that was so sweet. I wish we could throw you a big party tomorrow that you guys deserve. Wow 50 years. that is amazing. Love you guys.

Brian said...

Dad and Mom, what a great thing to have accomplished in your lives. I wish we could have been there to celebrate and enjoy the occaision. What a blessing to have fellow missionaries who love you almost as much as we do.

Rich Watts said...

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!

We miss you but are so proud of your efforts on your mission. How lucky we all are to have you and Mom as examples of so many things that are good!

Love you, Rich

Charmaine Anderson said...

Happy 50 Watts! What a joy to see a couple have such a content commitment to their marriage. And how nice to have your husband give such glowing compliments. All your good natured hard work has paid off Barbara. You are a great example as to how it ought to be.