Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Story Book Romance


My Father was captain of the football team in high school, my mother captain of the cheerleaders. In a small town outside of Philadelphia, he worked for the local pharmacy and no matter where the delivery, he made sure the route always took him past her home.

Their senior year was shadowed by Pearl Harbor and the certain knowledge that all the boys were going to war. My mother went to college, living 3 years in constant dread, despite his constant letters of reassurrance filled with characitures and limericks. To the end, they stare lovingly at each other as she recounts the tale of reunion when in the dark and deserted train station, they nearly missed each other, but instead ran from opposite ends across the tracks to the embrace of a lifetime.

After a one room apartment just off the Penn campus finishing school, they moved to an acre of land and a little hand-built house (http://www.artisanbuilders.blogspot.com/). They began their family. Five children and five additions to the home spanned the next years as his architecture flourished and she pioneered an afterschool program.


From designer to leader, he became president of the International Union of Architects. As their children became parents, my Mother and Father travelled the world. For a decade, they returned home with tales of adventure and appreciation. A south African took them on a safari, hearing lions practically in her back yard. They toured a temple buried into a Middle Eastern cliffside, radiant in the sunrise as no tourist could see it. They were backstage at the Moscow Circus. And as Lech Walensa led Poland towards freedom, my mother arranged exchanges for students she had met there.

Although it was like any marriage that suffered winters, they celebrated regally their 50th anniversery, surrounded by two generations of offspring. He gave her a ring inscribed in characteristic simplicity "No regrets".

After 60 years, my Dad organized nearly every step to move them into a community where she has marvellous care in an Alzheimers unit, and he has his own apartment 150 yards away. Most evenings, he sits with her in the garden appreciating her joy at rediscovering roses over and over again. Returned to his quiet little space, he writes us EMAILs to reveal his love for her is stronger than ever.




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2 comments:

wenniebic said...

hi. i came to rose valley to work in 1964. your mom taught me everything i still hold dear about children and childcare. i now run my own childcare centre and use all the principle i was taught. i have 2 of your dads paintings i bought. they are still very precious to me. i am photoing them and sending them to kip for the archive of his work. i send all my love to your family and thanks for all i learnt. wendy xx

Laurie said...

Is this our first posting? I have decided to begin at the beginning. I am drawn to find the whole story. When are you going to start your novel?

In your posting today I read about your son's birthday, I figured out you are recently divorced. I felt that I had come into the movie at the intermission and want now, to understand you and your circumstances more. I am amazed at your heart.

All the best,
Laurie