Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Happy 67th Anniversary
My mom was already there and when she skated past my dad, he said he couldn't take his eyes off of her. He lost all interest in meeting the red headed girl. I'm not sure what he did to get my mom's attention, but, he has always been a joker so what ever it was, I'm sure he made her laugh. If you got my mom laughing hard enough, she would always snort. ADORABLE...and HILARIOUS!
My dad fell head over heals in love when he saw her, but, my mom was already engaged. So, they became great friends and would skate together. She was a bit of a tomboy back then and would do pretty daring things. My dad showed her how to jump off the back of a moving truck. Of course, we could never do that! I'm sure that the truck wasn't moving very fast, but, still!
The war broke out and my dad enlisted in the Marines. He wanted to let my mom know his feelings for her, but, when she told him that she loved him like a brother, he was crushed, and kept silent.
He went off to war, and my mom with her sister Kathy moved to Washington, D.C. and worked in the Pentagon. (WOW, that always impressed me)
She had written my dad a letter she had broken off the engagement with this "fella" and wanted my dad to come for a visit.
The base was having an inspection when the letter arrived, so,it was placed in his footlocker. One thing lead to another and he had forgotten all about it.
They were going to be shipped out soon, so, he was packing and came across this letter telling my dad where my mom was and that she'd like him to visit.
A bit of time had gone by since she had written the letter, so she thought that he wasn't interested. On the contrary! Obviously he went as soon as he had leave.
One evening when they were out to dinner, she looked at him and said "Are you going to marry me or what?" Still cracks me up to this day!
Since it was lent, they had to get a special dispensation to get married. Since it was war time, they were allowed to do so, but, no wedding gown, no special music...On March 12th 1945, my dad in his Marine dress blues and my mom in a light blue skirt suit with an adorable matching hat, became one.
It didn't matter to them that there wasn't anything fancy, they had each other. That was everything! Always full of love for each other, they still held hands and my dad would pat my mom on the "po-po" every time she'd walk by him, and each time she would giggle and touch him back.
I can go on forever and ever about their kindness and loving ways. Every one that came across them saw it. It couldn't be helped.
Before I was born, (I'm the sixth of seven), these two beautiful people took in babies. The babies were from unwed mothers, or mothers with some problems. Some of the babies were waiting for their mom's to get better while others were waiting for adoption. A couple of months with a baby wasn't uncommon. Obviously you get attached, so, when the first baby was taken back, my parents were devastated for days.
Did they stop because the heartache of losing them was too much? No, these two unselfish people, decided to take two babies at a time. That way, when one had to leave them, there was a still a baby left and a new baby coming. Even after all those years passed, they could tell you the names.
Years went by and the final three of us came to be after my mom had suffered three miscarriages and a radical mastectomy. My dad told me she never complained, she just put her best face forward and took care of her family.
We were living in Rome, NY when the Vietnam War was starting and my dad got orders to go to Thailand ( I actually think it was called Siam back then).
My mom did all sorts of volunteer things to help pass the time. We used to collect unwanted Barbie dolls and check them all over, redress them, switch heads to better bodies and wrap them for the under privileged children. (One of my favorite memories still)
My mom would also take in peoples laundry for some extra money. I can still see her sprinkling the clothes with water and putting them in a bag (I swear in the fridge) and take them out when she ironed them. She taught us kids how to iron ( I still love to do it) We used to iron my dads handkerchiefs, oh how proud we were!
I remember one day, my mom and I were in the kitchen ironing, a song came on the radio and my mom just collapsed in a chair and started crying. It was Christmas, and Elvis was singing how Blue it was. My mom just couldn't hold back the tears. There were a couple of songs that just made her cry, that still to this day break my heart. Blue Christmas and I'll be home for Christmas.
When Christmas finally came, we would all sit huddled together around my mom and the TV watching Bob Hope. We always prayed for a quick sighting of my dad. Just knowing that my dad was in the audience thrilled us.
(In later years we would all watch Bob Hope praying to catch a glimpse of one of my brothers. We never did, but, Bob Hope was a huge part of my childhood.)
My mom hadn't heard from my dad in a little while and was getting anxious. My dad had been run over by a truck and was in the hospital. He had road burn all over his body and a crushed bone in his back. He was alive! As soon as he healed enough they were sending him home!
The day came and we went to get him. The gates were outside and back then, we were able to go right to the gate and greet the passengers. We saw his plane land and we followed it to the waiting area. My mom was holding my little brother and the rest of us were all together.
We watched as men in uniform kept getting greeted by their loved ones as they made their way to the gate. My mom was scared because all these men were coming off the plane and not my dad.
My dad, because he was injured, was the last to get off the plane. As he was coming down the steps of the plane, my mom screamed and ran out to him. Of course we all ran too. He had a limp, but, that was my dad, just as handsome as ever!
Even though I was young, I never wanted to have my parents not be together on Christmas. They never have.
My beautiful mother became an angel in May of 2007, my darling dad just couldn't survive without his love beside him and joined my mom the day after Thanksgiving. Six months. His broken heart just couldn't continue. And so, he was with her for Christmas.
I love you Mom and Dad so very much. I think of you every single day and hope some day to make you proud!