The flowers are blooming and the buds on the trees in our neighborhood are literally exploding in a variety of pink and purple shades. It seemed as though the entire world was smiling, as I walked our devil dog, Atticus Finch, this morning.
I had to smile too because it’s Mother’s Day – or “Evil Step-Mother’s Day” – as we like to call it in our house. But, it’s May 8 and that means it is also Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary. Is it possible that today would have marked 73 years of marriage? How can that be?
I don’t have any pithy anecdotes or quotes to share in this post, and yet I did feel compelled to write. As I was walking and taking in the beauty of life this morning, my mind was racing with hundreds of thoughts reminding me of all the myriad of ways in which I am blessed. Beginning, of course, with the wonderful blessings my family has given me – even though I may not have recognized them as such at the time.
Many of Mom and Dad’s most “famous” moments came rushing back to me in a flood.
“Kathy, are you wearing clean underwear?” Mom whispers, as Kathy is on a GURNEY being placed into an AMBULANCE!!
“Where’d you go for that pizza, David, CHICAGO!” yells a toothless Father, when David breaks curfew in Delavan.
I remember waiting for Joe to come chugging home to Bradford in his trusty Jolly Green Giant car. And, sitting with Mom In Newark praying that Bill’s continually broken down VW van would make it home with the girls for a visit.
I remember Michael’s friends patiently waiting for him to go out when he was home for a break from college. He couldn’t have a night on the town until he finished the ironing Mom had assigned to him – my clothes, I suspect.
I remember countless days and weekends following Paul from wrestling match to wrestling tournament all over the state of Pennsylvania. I knew so much about the sport by the time I was 9 years old, I could have been the referee.
And who can forget the ONE AND ONLY TIME, Janie broke the rules and allowed us to play “Can’t Touch The Ground” in Bradford resulting in the SNAP heard around the world as an arm on one of Nana Whitaker’s expensive wing chairs was ripped from it’s side during our explicitly forbidden game of jumping from chair to chair?
Why these memories came rushing back this morning I have no idea. I guess I simply miss Mom and Dad.
David and Charlie might remember the time we were in the parking lot in Sal’s Grocery store in Bradford – admonished to “sit still and don’t you dare move a muscle.” Leaping to that challenge, one of the boys immediately jumped in the front seat and put the car in Reverse, causing Mother and Father to return to the car, now sitting in the middle of the parking lot, the three of us locked in a code of silence as to who did what. I think Kathy was there, too, solidly having our backs.
In Newark, after church one day, we stopped at the little store at the bottom of the hill. Earlier in the morning, Dad had said something to the effect of, “Your mother deserves posies every day of the week.”
As we pulled into the store lot, with Dad again telling us to “not move a muscle,” we immediately developed our scheme. In the same strip mall of this store was a florist. Charlie was to go into the flower shop and get a “posy.” Sadly, when confronted with “what type of posy would you like?” Charlie froze – as only Charlie can do. He returned breathless with a pittance of flowers in his hand. “Did you know ‘posy’ is just another word for EVERY TYPE OF FLOWER IN THE WORLD?”
But, wait! We can’t get something for Mom and not for Dad, can we? NO! So, David is quickly dispatched to a different store and comes back with……a lovely can of Sprite. Nothing says love like a can of Sprite.
We didn’t get in trouble for this particular disobedience – but it did garner a few laughs.
I couldn’t tell you what I had for dinner last night but I remember that Sunday morning escapade as clearly as if it had happened yesterday.
“Who ya working for, Reddy Kilowatt?”
“The house is not a toy!”
“It’s not you I worry about, it’s all the other kooks on the road!”
“What’s the usual donation?”
These legendary quotes banging around in my head this morning made me smile and, ok, maybe shed a tear or two.
With much more love in my heart than I could ever possibly describe, I just wanted to write and say to my entire family “Happy Anniversary,” as we remember Jane and Bill. To all the wonderful Mom’s in our family, I wish you a happy, HAPPY Mother’s Day.
And, if anyone is traveling today, remember, “The cops are out in DROVES!”