Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mother and Daddy

With Pictures
Yesterday marked the 63rd anniversary of Mother and Daddy's Wedding Day.  Daddy died August 8, 1993, so they had been married 46 years when he died.

The last 3 months of Daddy's life, Mother lived with Mary Ann in Montgomery, AL while Daddy was in a nursing home there, in the final stages of Alzheimer's Disease.  Each morning Mother would drive to the nursing home around 8:00 am and would return to Mary Ann's apartment at about 5:00 ish.  She spent the whole day with him at the nursing home, every day, for 3 months.  

During that time, and I think it might have been the week before he died, I was in Montgomery for a week with Mother.  Mary Ann, a friend, and my four girls, had gone to the beach.  My girls were 12, 11, 7, and 5 at the time.  I was 42.  Daddy was 80.  Mother was 76.  Mary Ann, 44.  Montgomery is so close to Evergreen, so I talked Mother into letting me drive her down to see her sisters for the day.  She did, with reservation - not wanting to leave Daddy for even a day.  (in fact, he may have been in the hospital at that point with dehydration - because we couldn't get him to eat or drink in the nursing home - we were so glad for him to be in the hospital - just under that kind of care)  So - we did drive down for the day and had lunch at Florence's house, along with the other sisters and 2 remaining brothers in law.  

Here is a picture taken that day with the sisters sitting on Florence's hearth.  They were all being funny - always when together - especially Florence - but they all have their own humor - so much laughter always - There was a sequence of these pictures which revealed all the laughter, but in this one I caught mom with a look of distraction - I remember that day, she couldn't completely get Daddy off her mind - his being up in Montgomery without us - without her - I know that we did have to run by the nursing home, or hospital, that afternoon when we returned to M'gomery.

Mother, Florence, Mary and Lucille.  August 1993.  Now Mother and Lucille are in heaven.  Mary is in Evergreen, and Florence is living in Tallahassee with her daughter.  John Law, Mary's husband, is the only living Brother-in-law.

But, when it all began, August 3, 1947, Mother and Daddy looked like this.

I like this double exposure - accident, but I like it.

and then, some memorabilia from her Bride's Book

The wedding announcement (not an invitation)

and a page out of Mother's Bride's Book about a party held for her on July 29, 1947

Here is a picture, not of that party, but during the same time, approximately, and a similar party
with Mother on the right and the other ladies were a part of the party given for Mother in July.
Okay, I'll just tell you,
left to right
Betty Su Bozeman, Mildred Murphy, Lanelle Newton, and Mother.
Mother's friends.  I know them.

And the cover of Mother's book

And a card, in the book, from Daddy to Mother on their First Anniversary.
August 3, 1948.

So - there you are - I am incredibly grateful for the legacy I happen to have in solid marriages.  Those that stick - that have no back doors - no question marks.  No looking about with doubts and distrust and wondering.  Not without conflict - not without ordinary and plain - always needing a little jumpstarting here and there - but ever faithful to jumpstart it.  Seasons of growth, seasons of learning and being broken, and giving up of selfish wants - blending the two - learning to give, finally. 
It's a gift from God - and I don't know why.
We could just as easily have been a family with generations of "stuff" which destroys marriages - and if we were God could redeem all of that.  I don't mean to be self-righteous.  It's just a gift and with it a responsibility to pass it on and learn from it and lend to others.
For a child in that, there is incredible safety and comfort.  amazing.  I wish all children could live in that kind of peace.  Even the conflict carries with it a knowledgable hope that it will be resolved and will be better than before.


linda said...

This is a beautiful post. It sounds like the kind of family i always wished i had growing up.
Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment on my "I was lost" post.
It means alot to be applauded for doing a hard thing.

LB said...

you knew I would comment. Well, I love the old pictures of course--I say it every time, and I always wish I had a copy some how. Also, that first picture was so Grandmother to me, so it brought a few tears to my eyes. I didn't realize that Grandaddy died so soon after that beach trip. Hmmm...