SO MANY READING GLASSES: I don’t know how many pair of readers my dad owned, but they seemed to be everywhere. Now I understand that no matter how many pair you have, and how far and wide you strew them around the house – you can never put your hands on a pair when you need them. Dammit.
A LITTLE RESPECT IS NICE: My parents belonged to a country club. Dad seemed to get an inordinate amount of pleasure from being greeted by name and called “Sir”. What I failed to appreciate at the time was that being a member of that club meant a lot to my parents – especially my father. They enjoyed their leisure time among friends with similar interests. Dad spent hard-earned money there, and the staff treated him with respect. It made him feel good. Now I get it. We belong to a community club. The bartender knows what I drink. The F & B Director makes sure we get a good table for dinner. We appreciate the service and the recognition we have as active members. (Dad, it does feel really good.)
ROUTINE IS COMFORTING: We had a few cherished routines in our family, and if any of my siblings read this, they will remember. Saturday night was Burger Night at home. Dad would grill them and give Mom a break in the kitchen. Sunday Night we watched Disney and had popcorn, apple, and ginger ale for dinner. It was nice to know that we would be together on those evenings, sharing a tradition. Although routines have changed for Ron and me over time, with our moves, we value certain constants that add comfort to our lives. Part of our evening routine is that Ron tucks me into bed every night. Sweet.
THE MIDDLE-AGE BATTLE OF THE BULGE: Once, when I was little, I said to my mother, “Mommy you would be so pretty if you would suck in your tummy.” It made her cry. I was shocked and upset at her reaction, because I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings. If someone said that to me today, I would cry too. I’m still sorry, Mom.
REVEL IN YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS: My parents were always proud of their children and their home. The night before my father died, he and Mom talked about what they accomplished together in their married life. Over the years, Ron and I have enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) the fruits of our efforts. It’s good to talk about them and reinforce their importance. They got us to the happy place we’re in today.