My father – six years older than my mother – died in his early 80s. (See My Dad)
My mom, who it seemed had never been sick a day in her life, developed a heart condition after he died and survived him by less than three years. (See My Game Mother, Still Life and Fluffy and the Alligator Shoes)
In fact it seemed she’d been prescient about her own mortality. After his death she became depressed and when we reminded her how much she still had to live for – her two daughters and two grandsons – she said she’d try to stick around, but just for a few more years.
Then talking about my dad she said what she missed most were those thousand little touches – the warm sweater or mislaid pair of eyeglasses, or handful or grapes or hot cup of tea, all lovingly brought to the one who had asked.
As a child I surely took my parents for granted and didn’t think much about their marriage. It wasn’t until I entered the fray myself in that sometimes bloody battle of the sexes, that I realized what a good and enviable marriage they had.
They certainly had different personas – almost diametrically opposed I would say. My dad was unpretentious, peace-loving, and rather than socializing was happiest at home playing the piano and making art – his two great hobbies. My mom was quite the opposite – opinionated and always ready for a debate, gregarious, and full of energy and wanderlust.
Yet as different as they seemed, and like all couples sometimes disagreed and sometimes argued fiercely, they were wonderful to see together – demonstrative, often holding hands, and undoubtedly very much in love, (See Around the World in 80 Days)
Although I don’t profess to know the secret of their happy marriage, I’m sure if there’s a Great Beyond they’re out there together, still hand-in-hand!
– Dana Susan Lehrman