Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mom and Dad

Yesterday was my mother and father's 52nd wedding anniversary.

They met met, like so many, after "The War", at college, in an accounting class. ("The War" was, in a sense, the end of their old lives and a beginning of a new life.) They married the day before Veteran's Day and shortly thereafter had my sister. Much later, when it was thought to be too late to have any more children, they had my brother. And then me. Surprise!

I've been lucky to have both of them in my life. So many of my friends have lost one or both their parents. And at their funerals I think greedily and guiltily of the parents that I still have.

Shortly after they retired they decided to move 25 miles away to Petaluma. They had lived through "The War" which savaged their beloved country, and spent much of their lives in the gray city. Now they wanted to see hills and country and breath fresh air. They chose Petulama. Halfway between my brother and myself and my sister and their new grandbabies. My sister lived in Cloverdale with her family and Petaluma was a good compromise. They moved into a house on the edge of a golf course with a view of the hills. Not only could my father have his hills, but he could have a nice green lawn to look at -- without having to take care of it. My mother became a social butterfly -- meeting other seniors at the senior center and taking trips to places she had read about.

Life was good. And they enjoyed it together. Sometime, I don't know exactly, my mother, always active, began to use a cane. And behind my father's study door the TV blasted louder and louder.

Recently, after a trip back to the Philippines I noticed how exhausted my father looked. It was natural for him to be tired after such a long trip, but he was very drawn and grey. It took several weeks for him to return to normal.

My mother, occasionally plagued with fainting spells, cramps and anxiety attacks, didn't seem to recover as quickly as she has. And the last week and a half were punctuated with 2 hospital stays.

Last night I drove my mother back from hospital to a father who greeted us at the door and fussed and fluttered about my mother.

"Happy Anniversary" my mother said.
"What?" my father said looking at her.
"Happy Anniversary" she said again.
He peered into her eyes and his eyes lighted up and he smiled. "Happy Anniversary"

Happy 52nd Anniversary Mom and Dad!

1 comment:

Shauna said...

Awww, sweet story!


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