August 25 would have been my mom and dad's 59th wedding anniversary. Dad has been dead almost 15 years now and mom about 18 months. If there was any affection between them, I never really saw it. Perhaps that whole "have to get married" thing really was just feared obligation and not love. Dad cheated many times, had a child with another woman and drank off and on. Mom stuffed her mouth and hid in bed for days at a time, while us kids muddled thru.
Thankfully, I had grandparents who lived next door or upstairs in a duplex, because they gave me the cuddles and directions I needed at times. I have always considered my grampa more my dad than my dad anyways. Grampa taught me how to cook, how to keep house, how to throw a fastball, how to hem a skirt, how to score the Tigers games and how to sing in French. Maybe dad just didn't know how to be a dad, as his parents were just like him. But I loved him anyways. Mom was spoiled silly as the only surviving baby to live past a few months. She had the options to do all those things grampa taught me and could have passed them on, but somehow it never happened. But I loved her anyways.
One of the saddest things I ever heard my own daughter tell me was about 12 years ago when she revealed that her gramma told her she never loved her husband. I think I felt more torn up for my daughter, who shared her birthday with her grampa and a form of his name. For many years they were best buds and maybe dad thought he was making amends to me thru her. As my daughter reached maturity, my dad froze her out. There were times I thought he was ready to leave mom (but his girlfriend would not leave her husband either) as all the kids were adults, even if I was the only one who actually left the household and established my own family and home. To this day, I know those ill spoken words from my mom to her granddaughter haunt her.
While composing this blog tonight , I see the full moon pausing behind wafting breathy clouds and wonder what each of my parents thought at the dusk of their wedding ceremony back in 1951. Did they gaze out at the quarter moon with vibrant dreams of a future together or did their eyes fill with tears knowing they both perpetrated a lie before God and family?
...to be continued