Halloween Wedding Anniversary

October 29, 2013

On an unseasonably warm and sunny Halloween afternoon  60 years ago, my parents were married. Back then, Halloween was not as big of a holiday it is today – so it was seemingly just the perfect Saturday for a wedding.

I love his memory of how he and my mother met. They were at a wedding, unknowingly mutual friends of the bride. He saw my mother standing on the steps of the church and Cupid shot his arrow straight into my father’s heart – where it remains still firmly implanted…all these years later – he has never stopped seeing my mother as his girlfriend and my mother still sees him as her boyfriend….60 years later.

On that fateful day, my father offered to drive my mother home after the wedding – it was 1950 and a young lady didn’t take a car ride from just anybody! So, after get the go-ahead from the bride that he was indeed “safe”, he drove her home and promptly called her the following day for a date. Now, my mother tells me that gentlemen would call a lady for a date for the following Saturday night – and he wasn’t wasting a moment. She agreed and the date went well – and then he called her immediately to “book” her for the following week…and the following week…and the following week.

Rush forward 3 years – they booked the church for October 24…but close friends were desperate to get married on that date so my parents gave up their “reservation” and took the next available date, October 31st – Halloween.  My parents tell me it was about 75 F that day – unseasonably warm. A perfect sunny day.

In their 60 years they have never really been apart. They “date” regularly – always have, and their social life has often put mine to shame. My mother taught me to keep the romance alive (“a nice silky nightgown dear, flannel pajamas just aren’t quite appropriate”…I smile at that and have kept to her advice!). She told me to remember to keep my husband as close to First as possible (when you have kids) reminding me that he is who I will be with once the children are grown and moved out….and you don’t want to lose the whole reason you stood up at that alter for.

I write this through tears. Not of sentimentality – but sadness. My Dad was diagnosed with ALS this past summer and the last 3 months have turned our lives upside down…

…and our hearts, inside out.

The disease is progressing somewhat rapidly and it’s so cruel – not just because he is my Dad – but because this is a man who has worked out at the gym 3 times a week for 50 + years and taken long  walks daily,  and not meandering walks – brisk, heart pumping walks. Six months ago he stood, just a tad unsteady (we had no idea at the time) for family photos at Easter….one month later he was using a walker.

He remains as positive as possible, truly living for the day (and reminding me to do so as well). There was this incredible moment last month when he was at the hospital for a breathing issue….he was sitting in a wheelchair, waiting to be released and my mom and I were sitting with him in the waiting room. She was sitting beside him and I was behind them both. It was quiet – just us. Suddenly my mother broke the silence and said to him “We sure had a lot of fun, didn’t we?  Remember when we were young?” and added wistfully…. “It seems like it was just yesterday.” He looked over at her, nodded and smiled – “We sure did” he answered and then pointing to his heart told her, “that’s  because it’s all in here.”

I felt myself tearing up – it was as though I wasn’t there and that I was peeking in on this young couple.

I saw the newlyweds they were – that they still are….. “in there”

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