Today, July 25th, would have been my father’s 97th birthday had he lived. He passed away thirty years ago, in March 1985. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or my mother, who passed away in March 2001. I always remember my father’s birthday now, because my cousin Karen is born on the same day; when we were children, it was the opposite way around—I remembered her birthday when my dad’s birthday rolled around.
Thirty years. The passage of time. I remember my father and my mother in ways I never knew existed when I was younger, because I could not imagine them gone at that time. My father was 67 years old when he died; that’s young. They are both a part of me; I need only scratch the surface of my heart, mind and soul and they are there, waiting to talk to me.
My parents married on July 9th, 1955, sixty years ago. Their thirtieth wedding anniversary was within reach when my father passed away. It seems like a short amount of time for them to be married when I look back now (my husband and are nearing twenty-five years married), but they had married later in life and became parents in their late thirties. I was remembering one of the things we children used to do for my parents when their wedding anniversary came around each year. We would buy a box of M&M candies, vanilla ice cream and cantaloupe, cut the cantaloupe in half, scoop out the seeds, and fill each half with ice cream and M&Ms. Our anniversary gift to them, at least for three or four years. The last thing my father probably needed was to eat ice cream full of saturated fats given his health problems, but he ate it because we made it for them. That was the kind of dad he was. As I peruse his reading list and write about it for my blog, I feel my father’s presence in my life. I welcome those memories and feelings.