Mom and Dad had been at my place for a total of 40 days during my lymphoma treatment, which provided a peerless opportunity for Paul at 14 to spend time with them. Daily walks around the neighborhood. Meals. Conversations sitting around the back porch. Errands to the grocery store. Everyday tasks can be the best.
All these made for a deeper view of them than he had had in prior 1 week visits to Murphysboro where mom and dad reside; Paul’s setting did not change, and his sensibilities stayed deeply tuned in. He’s more a listener than a talker. Yet when he needs to share a viewpoint, it’s something I learn from each and every time.
Near the end of their stay, Paul wrote a brief note to mom and dad marking their 55 wedding anniversary. For special events, his preference is to plunk down words on his laptop, and print out. Nothing but Calibri, in 20 point font. No special formatting, drawings, music, color. He’s old fashioned – a Hemingway style is his preference. And below is what he shared to mom and dad. I was struck and humbled by his observations.
Dear Amma and Appa,
Happy Anniversary. You seemed to have had a wonderful marriage over the past few decades, something that I hope to have if I get married. It must be wonderful to understand, and know someone so well. When a marriage is like yours, the couple tend to know each other better than best friends. They come to understand each other, how far to go with jokes and pranks, they know each other’s strengths and weakness. And yet that is not all they do, for you see it’s good to know but better to take action. That is what couples like you do. They help each other along the path of life making each other better than what they already were. Well that is what I think happens. And I hope you live long, and live well by yourselves and together. Happy Anniversary.
Next subject. Thank you for staying so long. I was kind of skeptical of you staying here for so long. But I’m always skeptical of trying something new. And overall it turned to be great. We were able to make certain foods like cutlets, and lamb biryani. We joked around and learned about human anatomy, which for me was the slowest part of the visit. Anyways, I hope you comeback soon.
The Grands (kids and parents) together again
© 2016, Abe Pachikara (Click for larger images)
Getting to be a parent can be a mystical experience for me. This was certainly one of those times.