I celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. I know some don’t. Experiencing my parents’ divorce and the death of a sibling, I learned early on to not take life for granted. At any moment the way things are and the people you share it with can change. So to me a birthday or anniversary is like a year’s long accumulations of high fives, or high tens (two hands high fiving, up high) as I heard it called today. I like to think back and reflect on the year’s accomplishments or heart aches; the advancements and the setbacks; the exciting experiences and the days of relaxation. To me, it’s a day to sit back and ask myself, “What was that year all about and what have I learned from it”. Today I am celebrating my 20 year marriage to my husband Patrick. We were married at Immaculate Heart of Mary church on March 7, 1992. It’s hard to believe we’ve been through 20 years, but when I think back over it all it seems like quite an achievement. I know a few years back Lansing celebrated a 150 year anniversary: the sesquicentennial anniversary! How amazing! There was a yearlong celebration starting with an ice festival in February and ending with a special event at the conclusion of the Silver Bells Celebration. There were also parades, concerts, special festivals and a theme song. My friends at Traction even created a special branding for the year’s events.
The beginning of Lansing’s cityhood, as stated on the history sites, claims that two men from Lansing, New York came here and bought a bunch of swamp land and went back to their hometown and sold it to unsuspecting frontiersmen. Lucky for us, many, seeing hope and opportunity, stayed and began to form a city. In 1847 when the bid for a new Capitol city was sought, Lansing only had 20 residents. Yet, due to its location, it was chosen to become the Capitol city of the state of Michigan. The city continued to ebb and flow to where it is today. An anniversary, whether it is 1 year, 10 years, 20 years or 150 years, allows those celebrating a chance to stop and think about all they’ve been through and all the growth they’ve experienced. It doesn’t really matter if the celebration is with parades and city-wide festivals or beer and pizza at a local diner, it offers the chance to look around to the attendees and say, “Hey, look how far we’ve come, together,” and then joyously offer up the first of many high fives. Or tens.
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