Two weekends ago was Conor’s parent’s 30th anniversary party, something that he and his sisters had been planning for several weeks. When the weekend hit, everyone kicked it into high gear, and everyone was on high alert. It was a fine line between making sure that they were blindly aware of a faux “fundraiser” they were going to, and not spilling the beans on the party of 70+ family and friends. Conor’s younger sister Ciara spearheaded the decorations creating a soft and romantic feel with white lighting, fresh flowers, floating candles, and adorable hand-crafted centerpieces. Did I mention the six-foot cardboard cutout of their wedding photo? It quickly became the center of the party. Everything was beyond perfect.
Kathy and Michael were completely surprised, all in attendance cheered and clapped. Many thought that the two were ‘on to’ the surprise. But they assured us that they had no idea and were thoroughly taken aback.
Once everyone had come in and said there hellos, a catered buffet was served and everyone indulged in firsts, and seconds!
With everyone’s mouths full, Conor’s older sister Caitlin took the opportunity to say a few words (SPEECH!!). She spoke about the love that her parents have for each other, and the incredible role model that the two of them have been as a couple. She thanked them for everything they have done and continue to do for their family.
Caitlin then spoke to the crowd and acknowledged that there was so much love in the room – from so many different times that spanned over thirty years. She touched on how many parties her parents had thrown for others, and how much love and compassion they bring to every situation. She applauded the first thirty and raised her glass to another!
Michael and Kathy both took to the front of the room to speak about their surprise and their gratitude. The room was filled with people from all over, some coming long distances, others from right around the corner. They thanked their children and expressed how truly proud they are of the kind, talented, and perfect adults they have all become. They thanked all of the guests and touched on some experiences with several groups of friends, noting lovely stories and fond recollections. From their original wedding party, to their children’s significant others, to friends from nursing and law school – everyone was excited to celebrate the couple.
Eventually the night gave way to everything we had all shown up for – good drinks, good company, music, dancing, and fun! I had an amazing time with Conor, his parents, and his incredible family. They have taken me in as one of their own and treat me better than I could have ever imagined! It gives me a great sense of joy to know that my boyfriend comes from such a loving family and not just that – but individuals who are just downright good people.
And fuck it – the Burke’s know how to party!