Golden Anniversary

By Kendra Holliday | November 25, 2016

Kendra Holliday, operating on mutual respect since 2006

Kendra Holliday, operating on mutual respect since 2006

This holiday season, I’m feeling very nostalgic.

You see, my parents 50th wedding anniversary was this week.


My mom is one of the only truly monogamous people I know.

She has only been with one person her entire life.

Isn’t that IRONIC??? I’m the opposite – I’ve been with hundreds of people. I’m SO non-monogamous.

How about you? How many people have you been with? How do you feel about it?

A few years ago, my parents renewed their vows, because they weren’t sure they would make it to their Golden Anniversary.

My veteran dad had open heart surgery in 2005 after retiring from a 30 year career and delving into two more government jobs. So earnest and gullible.

And my mom.

Well, she has had more near death experiences than I can count – childbirth, child death, mother guilt, resentment, confusion, suicide attempts, cutting, bashing, languishing, slicing, dicing, overdosing, psychotic episodes, hallucinating, mania, depression, dumpster diving, dog and people rescuing, child abusing, drug rehab, halfway houses, driving into ditches, crumpled up in closets and outhouses, ER visits, endless falling, bleeding, heart stopping, toxic drug levels…

Life can be fucking brutal.

They are stubborn and of strong stock.

Here is the song that was played at their renewal of vows. My baby sis chose it (she’s 12 yrs younger than me – we span their reproductive love story – it went girl-boy-girl-boy-girl):

I love how the colors start out red, like blood, then blue is added, and it turns purple. Purple is a healing color. Purple is what people could wear after a year of mourning, back in the day.



It reminds me of this song. Yes, I KNOW it’s super cheesy, but it symbolizes so much:

Celine Dion is an angel, overseeing their fate.









Everlasting love.

Love conquers all.

Here is an image of my parent’s hands in 1966, at their wedding:

Parents hands, 1966.

Parents hands, 1966.

Here is a picture of their hands, 50 years later.

My parents, 2016.

My parents, 2016.

Like Isidor and Ida Straus, they would have gone down together on the sinking ship.

I reflected on my own marriage. I got married in 1996. This was our iconic shot.

My wedding hand shot

My wedding hand shot

Anyone who knows me knows I am not one to get a French manicure, so you can see I got dolled up for my big day! And it sure looks weird.

My ex-husband and I were married for seven years.

The last year was bad, and I bailed. I hopped on the life boat and left him behind.

He was so hurt and angry; bitterly, he snatched my diamond ring back.

What if I had stuck with it, through good times and bad, like I vowed?

This is my hand now:

Hand solo

Hand solo

And now, I’ve traded the traditional wedding ring for a K pendant my new partner gave me eight years ago, which is like our commitment collar:

Shine on!

Shine on!

It’s so shiny; just had it polished. Here’s a better shot:



“K” stands for “Kept”, “King”, “Kendra”, “Kinky”…. 🙂

Will it last longer than our relationship? Will we make it a decade??

My parents got a hotel room to celebrate, and we visited them there.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – congratulations on making it there.

Even if you are The Walking Dead. LOL

Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how twisted they are.

Keep surviving until you get to rest.


Stephen 2016-11-29 00:58:43

I was going to ask why your parents stayed together. With your mother’s horrible mental illness, staying together must’ve been a war of attrition for them both. Especially with the difficulties their children faced. What an incredible thing just for them to be alive, to have survived. I wouldn’t have. Like you said, they are of strong stock.

As for your other question, I have been with around 100 women. I regret nearly all of them. I am monogamous in my heart and soul, stemming from my abandonment issues as a child. I always craved the utopic ideal, a high school sweetheart who stays with me for life. I’ve pursued this fantasy ever since I was incapable of making it happen during the youth I had. I have always dated and craved the return to innocence, and fled quickly from anyone my age with any sort of baggage. It makes me resentful to have missed out. Then, when I date someone quite younger, even for a long period, the inevitable happens and we have to break it off, which just feeds into the abandonment fears. It’s a Shakespearean tragedy, unbroken by therapy, drugs, or awareness.

Yet had I stayed with someone for 50 years, monogamous the entire time, I would have ended up like your mother, of this I’m certain (minus the blue hair, I’m not that adventurous). So to try and make up for my losses, I’ve gone the ‘conquer all’ route, where I flirt with everyone, hope for anyone, and give in when any affection is returned. That’s led me to short empty encounters with dozens of women, names I couldn’t remember if I tried.

I have a feeling I’m the ideal client for someone like you, a desperate and needy man with self esteem issues to beat the bank. Yet I’m still that tragic figure, who will never deem myself a candidate for such helpful action. Why?

Because being who I am has become a comfortable place to be, no matter how hellish it may seem. That’s how it’s been for your mother, your parents. No matter how terrible their lives might have been, the pain and anguish becomes, for lack of a better word, home. And we always find deep comfort in our homes, wherever we make them.

I’m both happy for their survival and terribly sad for their lives and anguish.

Then I think of you and your sister and I’m thrilled more than imaginable that you’ve both made the leap to a better existence. I look forward to your 50th anniversary of being free, Kendra. I won’t be there for it, but trust me, I’ll know, and along with all of your friends and lovers, I’ll smile proudly down.

You worked really hard and have done very well and you should be so very proud of yourself.

As we say in the synagogue, Mazel Tov.


    Kendra Holliday 2016-12-01 03:30:20

    Wow, what a beautifully worded comment. Thank you. It does remind me of a bit of a rabbi’s wisdom – being able to see the beauty and positive in such a negative situation. I’ve been pretty overwhelmed lately with all the pain and beauty around me. Trying to remember to breathe consciously and do self-care.


Leave a Comment

Please see the Community Policy for comment guidelines and rules.

YouTube RSS




My parents got home safe from Nebraska


I post a PSA on a closed Pokémon group showing a screenshot of this image, & then immediately get this ad. But all…


Let’s all take a moment and acknowledge the current opening screen of Pokémon GO. #MeToo


Of course it’s French. 🙄