I can still see their faces to this day from that radiant, flawless evening. I can still feel the warmth of the sun kissing upon my bare back as it starts to slowly fall to where the ocean meets the land. The bitter taste of salt enters our mouths as we laugh together. The smell of the ocean with hints of perfume, cologne, and hairspray blend and create a refreshing concoction. Our family and friends came together to celebrate this magical moment. For those who joined knew that this particular Monday was soon to be unforgettable from the getco. On this sixth day of September 2010, my parents renewed their vows.

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Us girls spent the entire day doing makeup and hair and all that glitz and glamor upstairs in the beach condo. As for the boys, well they just didn’t want any part of that so they went off to do their own thing. Subsequent to getting all dolled up, my immediate family and some close friends headed down to Siesta Key beach. I could feel the initial warmth of the sugar sand beneath my feet followed by the coolness of the underlying sand rush in-between my toes. As I approached the ceremony spot I could see rows of white chairs, people greeting other and making small talk.

I saw the decorations that popped with a glowing orange. I could hear the tranquil music playing from the radio speakers and the sound of waves crashing up on shore in the background. As the time for the ceremony came closer, people began to fill those white chairs. My dad, my sister and I were the first to stand under the colorfully decorated bamboo arbor. I noticed the nervousness in my dad as he stood there fiddling his hands as the anticipation of seeing my mom built within him. Despite all the noises surrounding us, you could’ve heard a rock drop in that soft sand as my mom walked down that straw mat aisle runner.

Even after 20 years of marriage with the same woman, tears of joy and awe trickled down my dad’s face at the first sight of my mom. Her artistically beaded lace and satin dress shaped her petite figure. The sun hit her freshly tanned skin just enough to make it shimmer. Her curled dirty blond hair framed her beautiful face and she had a white and purple orchid flower pinned in the back. All attention was on her. My parents wrote their own vows and read them passionately to each other, trying to hold back on bursting out in happy tears.

They exchanged a beautiful melody of words explaining how and why they were so in love with each other. How their love for each other continually grows stronger and stronger every day even after all these years. And how extraordinary it is that everything they’ve done individually in their lives has led them there to that very moment. As they kissed like they were young again, the merriment coming from our loved ones and the noisy compilation of various camera sounds filled the small area around us. And for the second time, they ran like it was the year 1990 again.

We wrapped up this sensational and pulchritudinous day with a unity sand ceremony. The four of us took turns pouring in different colored sands over a layer of already poured neutral brown sand. Each of these sand colors meant something different. The neutral brown stands for a grounded marriage and that is definitely what my parents have. My sister started off by pouring in the yellow sand, which stands for optimism, friendship and attraction. Next, I poured in the green sand, which stands for nature and renewal, prosperity, beauty and luck.

Then, my dad poured the light blue sand, which stands for peace, patience and good health. Last but not least, my mom finished it off with the dark blue sand, which stands for strength, loyalty, trust and commitment. If you were to ask me, I would tell you that the four of us certainly portray every meaning in our own special and unique way. Looking back on that day now, I still can’t even comprehend how two people could love each other unconditionally like my mom and dad love on another. I just hope that on day in the future my sister and I will find true love just like theirs – eternal and indubitable.

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