We didn’t see it coming.  They struck from out of nowhere.  A day that will live in infamy.

In ten days, we will mark the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.  On Pearl Harbor Day in 1985, Mark and I were married.  I have endured many years of jokes from my sweetheart about sneak attacks and being blindsided — all good-natured, of course.

As we herded our large crowd toward the turkey buffet yesterday, there was a knock at the door.  Oh, no!  Was I expecting someone else?  How could I have forgotten a guest?  And where on earth will I find another plate?  At the front door stood Elaine, my old friend and matron of honor.  Her husband stood at her side, carrying flowers.  Oh, man.  Talk about your bad timing!  I opened the door and greeted them with, “Welcome to Franksgiving!”  The chaos swirled all around us as children scurried under our feet to hook up with their parents and find spots at the table.  “I’ve been talking with your son,” Elaine tells me.  “Happy 25th Anniversary!”

Soon my children all gather around.  They present me with an embroidered coverlet with our names and the dates of our marriage and today’s celebration.  A silver tray bears this message:

Mark & Pamela Jones

Happy 25th Anniversary

Married December 7, 1985

The greatness of your story  is not told

in the silver etchings of a marked occasion

but in the lasting legacy of the family

you have grown, the shared experience of

memories you have created and the love

returned to you by those whose

lives you have touched.

— Your loving family

For reasons known only to men, I suppose, Mark was left off the hook and I was tapped to read the inscription out loud to the roomful of people.  I guess this picture was taken after I stopped crying, because everyone seems to be enjoying a good laugh — probably at my expense.

At the end of the day, I had many surprising things to be Frankful for.  And Pearl Harbor Day was commemorated once again with a sneak attack.  I never saw it coming!  And it isn’t easy to surprise the woman who makes all the plans.  I suppose that sums up the last twenty-five years pretty well.

When I look at the picture of the young couple, setting out to pursue their dreams together and then reflect on all the years and all the love and all the challenges and all the triumphs, I have to stop and think, ‘Wow!  We never saw that coming!”

I am truly blessed.