A Night to Remember

By Nancy McNabb

It all started with a moment in time back in late December. We had just had a wonderful church service and the question was asked, "What are we going to do for Dad and Mom's (Eldon & Zena McNabb's) 50th wedding anniversary?" Someone suggested the Log Cabin, a beautiful banquet hall set atop a mountain in a nearby town. I told everyone that this was the place they had their very first anniversary many, many, many years ago, and that is all it took. The scene was set and wheels were in motion. All we had to do was get through the next 5 months without them finding out!

To the sheer delight of their sons, daughters-in-law, and the 75 guests in attendance, Brother and Sister McNabb were totally surprised at their 50th Anniversary dinner. (An amazing feat, when you consider that more than 100 people knew about it months before the event!)
Over the next several months we worked out the menu, place settings, music, and speeches. At one point, Mother had mentioned wanting to do something herself by way of a small party for her and Dad. So we did whatever any smart, creative people would do, and used all of her ideas. Her sister, Ruth Spence, and niece Trudy Martin, flew in from Tennessee, and Helen Pratt, her other sister came up from Louisiana. We invited many wonderful friends, and the entire church family, to join in this celebration.

I had arranged for Joel and I to pick Dad and Mom up that night, with them thinking that they were having a family dinner with all their sons and their wives. All the way there, Mom was still making plans for her own party (which was supposed to be for the following weekend). Mom had even suggested that we not get her anything for Mother's day, because we were taking them out for dinner. I thought to myself, "Mom you have no idea. I think Mother's Day is covered for next 10 years ".

Top Photo: Sister Zena McNabb (center) with her sisters, Helen Pratt (left) and Ruth Spence (right). Below: Bro. and Sis. McNabb are having a night to remember.

David, Lyuda, Richard and Deb met us at the door, and we led Dad and Mom to the banquet room. When the doors were opened, the look on their faces said it all. We had done it I think it is the only time in our lives that we had truly surprised them. They were greeted with a round of applause from the many guests. We all were so relieved that the moment had come and it was such a huge success.

The night was full of joy and laughter and many great wishes from people whose lives they had touched. I was very thankful because I had met and fell in love with Dad and Mom before I even met Joel, their eldest son. Thank goodness they said "Okay" when I asked him to marry me. Keith had everyone in stitches as he spoke of his love for them and their kindness to "all three of his families." Richard wrote and composed a beautiful song depicting their lives together from marriage to present. Debbie spoke about the meaning of the 50th wedding anniversary and David sang a song, giving thanks to them and to the Lord for changing his life. The church families each spoke about the love they feel for these two people. Many thanks to each of them for their support. We also presented Mom and Dad with a family portrait(24 of us) so they don't forget who we are in their old age.

The example by which Dad and Mom have always lived has been a true inspiration to everyone there, and for the many people who sent cards that could not attend. It is their example that has touched so many lives. Their relentless pursuit for the truth of the word of God has paved their road together: a road they still travel down, side by side, never giving up on their pursuit or each other. The love they have for the Lord is instilled in each of us, and, in turn, in our children. There is no better way to give tribute to these two very special people, or to build a legacy with them, than to live our lives by their example for the Lord. A quote from the song David sang says "Thank you for giving to the Lord, for I was a Life that was changed." Thank you, Dad and Mom, for giving to the Lord and changing the many lives you have touched.