They have traversed time together, seven decades of time, and it all began on May 23, 1942, when they exchanged vows in Buffalo, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president of the United States.
Sincethen, they have witnessed the presidencies of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
My parents had their first three children in Chicago, where my father interned, and then they moved back to Buffalo, where he began his medical practice. They prospered, and then began decades of unrelenting social change: the end of World War II, the rise of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War, the baby boom (they were major contributors
with 11 children of their own), television, jets, space travel, the '60s, Vietnam, Watergate, lava lamps, answering machines, computers, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Internet, cellphones and iPads.
My parents have always made a great team, complementing each other so well. From his boyhood, my dad always knew he wanted to be a doctor. He's thoughtful, pragmatic and diplomatic. He has a wonderful bedside manner and is always optimistic.
My mom is feisty, opinionated and enthusiastic, but very much the disciplinarian of the family. And between the two of them, I think my dad would admit my mom had the tougher job: taking care of her aging mother as well as raising 11 children. When all the children were living at home, meals were a highly choreographed event. Imagine 14 plates lined up on the counter at dinner time with my mom and my older sisters moving up and down the line adding the chicken, the mashed potatoes, the gravy and the peas. My parents and the elder children ate in the dinette, while the younger ones, led by my brother Dennis, a charming rogue indeed, practiced less-than-perfect table manners, out of visual range from my mom, a charm school graduate.
Through their remarkable seven decades together, my parents have aged gracefully, and I believe one of the main reasons for their vitality and longevity is the fact that they are needed—now more than ever. They possess character, selflessness and wisdom, and have experienced the heights and depths of the human condition. Their counsel is highly sought after. Add to that their deep Catholic faith, and you've got the glue that has seen them through the toughest of times.
In my parent's yard there are two towering pine trees. Last summer at my father's birthday party, as I gazed upon them, it occurred to me that those trees are powerful symbols of my parents. Yes, after all these years, it all made perfect sense: those two towering pine trees represent the durable union of my parents. Standing together, side-by-side, through the many years, through the good times and the hard times, weathering the rains and the winds and the snows. And because their roots are deep, their combined strength has made them formidable indeed.
Two towering figures. Two unique individuals, and one enduring marriage: Today, as Dr. Daniel and Virginia McCue celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives and friends bow to honor and congratulate them on the power of their unshakable commitment, their mutual respect and their enduring love!
Kevin J. McCue, who lives in Amherst, has great respect for his parents, who are celebrating their 70th anniversary today.