10.2.16

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sundays are for rest & relaxation. Today I recharged from my eventful trip to Cinque Terre. I woke up at 8:30 AM, blogged, journaled, did homework at Ditta Artigianale, walked across the Arno, did laundry, ate a hamburger for the first time since being in the States, wrote letters, and briefly watched a football game at the Lion’s Fountain. It was a productive and relaxing day, even though I still didn’t learn how football works. One of these days…

It’s hard to believe that it’s already October. We have this week of classes and next week before midterms! I didn’t have midterms at Emma Willard, so this will be a new experience. I know that I need to start studying soon and pay lots of attention in class! After midterms though I’ll be jetting off to Ibiza for a getaway. I am looking forward to that, and the trip will serve as motivation to get through midterms.

I’m thinking about Emma Willard right now, for they are in the midst of selecting a candidate for its new head of school. They have narrowed it down to three finalists who will be on campus to meet students, parents, and alums. Too bad I’m not there to put in my own two cents! The Emma Willard Varsity Soccer Team also beat Berlin twice (our rival school) which is great news. I truly miss playing on that team.

Ready to go for another week of classes. I hope you had as fun of a weekend as I did! Below is the text for my COM speech I delivered on Thursday. xo ~e.

Good evening everyone. Thank you so much for being here to celebrate John and Lisa’s 30th anniversary. I am so happy their steadfast friends and both sides of the family are present tonight.

As I thought about my parents’ marriage, I remembered wandering near the Duomo one night a few years ago when I heard a talented musician singing, “When the night has come / and the land is dark / and the moon is the only light we’ll see…” As some of you know, Ben E. King’s classic hit “Stand by Me” was my parents’ wedding song. I knew they were with me, even though I was 4,000 miles away.

Tonight I want to touch on three major aspects of their marriage that have contributed to how they have stood by each other for 30 years: UUs, Chinese food, and friendship.

Firstly, my parents met at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Bennington, Vermont. My mom was finishing chemo when she met my dad on a Sunday morning. You can’t help but smile when he tells you, “She was and is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.” She asked him on a date to a museum, and the museum nut in him couldn’t say no. The UU Fellowship continues to be an essential part of their marriage. As UUs, they have been able to embrace their own spiritual beliefs within the same religion. They will gladly share their fondest UU memories with you.

Secondly, I can’t help but tease my dad for casually asking my mom to marry him in a Chinese restaurant without a ring. Regardless, it worked. To this day, eating Chinese food and taking a leisurely, evening stroll is their go-to date. Not to mention they indulged in authentic Chinese cuisine halfway across the world when they fulfilled their dream of adopting a baby together. It’s not about the steamed dumplings or the shrimp with vegetables but rather the precious time John and Lisa share together.

Lastly, and most importantly, the secret to their successful marriage is that they are best friends. They will tell you the key to a happy marriage is friendship. If you can’t spend time with each other, support each other, and make each other laugh, it’s not going to work. I have witnessed my parents’ friendship grow stronger every day because of how deeply they care for each other. My mom recently received a job offer that involved being away from home during the week, and my dad whole heartedly encouraged her to take it. When my dad faced one of his greatest challenges, drawing live caricatures at street fairs, my mom was right beside him. These are only two examples of their endless support for each other. I’m sure you all have your favorite John and Lisa stories.

As we reflect on their years together, we realize how unique John and Lisa’s love is. When I think about love, I automatically think about my parents.

Together they overcome unpredictable challenges.

Together they learn more about themselves through each other.

Together they became the best parents a girl could ever ask for.

Together they write their own love story.

I’d like to propose a toast to John and Lisa. Here is to 30 years of a wonderful marriage and many more to come. With the help of your friend Ben E. King I will always be here to remind you that, “Whenever you’re in trouble, stand by [each other]”.  To John and Lisa.

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