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The Bliss Blog

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Today would have been my parents’ 60th Anniversary. They met in their 30s when at the party of a mutual friend who had returned from her honeymoon and held a gathering where she she invited those who couldn’t attend her wedding reception. For the previous seven years, my mother dated a man I would come to refer to as “on again/off again Freddy,” since their relationship was inconsistent. He had stood her up for their date on New Years Eve and she took a stand herself and stepped away from him. Turns out, he was friends with the hostess as well, so when he saw my mother there, he beckoned her over to him. She held her head high and responded, “If you want me, you come to me.”  My father observed this interaction and thought, “This girl’s got Chutzpah.” (Yiddish for guts or moxy) and he approached her and struck up a conversation. Not sure what happened to Freddy, but I would like to think he learned his lesson about messing with an empowered woman.  My dad drove my mom home and when she arrived, she informed my grandmother that she had met the man she was going to marry. Their first date was to a Chinese restaurant and her fortune read auspiciously, “You’d beter prepare your Hope Chest.” They got engaged a few months later and on October 14, 1956, they were wed at the home of my Aunt Edith who was my maternal grandmother’s sister (and one of 13 children), thus beginning the next chapter in their lifelong love story. My sister Jan and I were born a few years later. I used to tell people that I was born the day before my parents got married (my birthday is October 13th). I neglected to say that it was two years later.

We were raised in an environment of love and dedication to family. My parents adored each other and it was evident in all they did and said. Rarely did I hear them argue and when they disagreed, they were able to resolve their differences, or at least respect them. They went out on dates; courting each other daily. Hugs, smooches, hand holding and dancing in the kitchen, calling each other sweet names and writing mushy love notes were part of their rituals. Not sure how my mom was able to make sense of my father’s scrawly handwriting, as she would tell him  teasingly that he should have been a doctor, rather than the milk man and bus driver that he was.

My parents saw each other through the eyes of love, since as they aged, my father would proclaim that my mother was the “most beautiful girl in the world.”  He viewed her as if she was the strawberry blond statuesque lovely who captured his heart and she gazed at her curly haired, blue eyed, dimpled, cleft chinned handsome prince. He passed in 2008, and she joined him in 2010.

Jody, my cousin has said that they were a hard act to follow, since they set the bar so high. I have yet to emulate what they had and am willing and open to it. Were they perfect?  Of course not. Perfect for each other?  Yes, indeed.

He passed in 2008, and she joined him in 2010. Today I celebrate with them as I imagine them dancing in Heaven.

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