Our parents, John and Eileen Perez, have lived in Richmond for more than half a century. Last month, they had planned to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Oct. 10.
This active and involved couple, with three grown children and an extended family of over 20, had made big plans to celebrate this remarkable day.
As the reality of COVID-19 took hold, John and Eileen made the heart-breaking decision to cancel their carefully planned and eagerly anticipated celebration.
For a couple who loves family more than anything, there was more sad news.
Their son who lives in the United States, was not allowed to a visit due to Canada’s travel restrictions.
But there was a silver lining!
On the beautiful fall day, John and Eileen were taken out for a “small celebratory lunch” by their two daughters.
When they were out, their sons-in-law and grandchildren decorated their home and placed celebration posters along the walking route back to their Steveston condo.
The entire village knew this was a special day.
Thank you to the City of Richmond, who placed “no parking” signs out on the street — the way was cleared for the main event.
As our parents laughed and cried with the surprise of the their home being transformed, they soon were treated to a several-blocks-long parade of cars.
Led by the Richmond RCMP, the many cars were filled with friends, family and well-wishers from all over the Lower Mainland.
The cherry on top was the sirens from our Richmond Fire Department, which quickly turned heads.
When it seemed that COVID-19 was going to take away a celebration of a remarkable milestone, the community and family rallied to deliver what will be remembered longer, and with more fondness, than any “normal” event.
Now, more than ever, it shows that community and commitment, at whatever social distance, matters.
Congratulations, John and Eileen, and thank you, Richmond.
Perez children, Debbie, Sylvia and Justin