My mother was a June bride, which made my father a June groom. People always seem to want June weddings. I don’t blame them, especially if they live somewhere with a tolerable climate in June. Today, June 28, 2012 would have been my parents’ 42nd wedding anniversary. They got married at the Essex House hotel in New York between Sixth and Seventh Avenues on Central Park South. My grandparents threw a fancy wedding. My dad always thought that they made it so elaborate because it was my mom’s one party, since she’d never had a bat mitzvah and the party that comes after that rite of passage. Whatever the reason, it looked beautiful. I’ve seen the pictures.
I think my sister would agree that our prized possession is our parents’ wedding album, and if, heaven forbid, there was ever a fire, that would be the one thing we’d run out of the house with—oh, along with the box of cards and letters my parents wrote back and forth to each other while they dated long distance.
My parents were married six years before they had me. They wanted to have enough savings and a house before bringing a child into the world. I appreciate that and I appreciate how they got to know each other during those six years. They were a team, true blue couple. If I ever get married, I don’t think I’ll have (no, I know I won’t) those six years. I’m older and will probably need to have a child right away if that’s what my husband and I want to do. Realizing that is a bit disappointing; I won’t get that alone time with my husband like my mom did.
Before my mom got sick, I thought my parents had a good marriage. Of course, they had their occasional fights and strong debates, but they weren’t those types of arguments that tear people apart. It was just life. And while my mom was ill, I know they had a great marriage. Any woman who decides to fight a disease with the best doctors and at the best hospitals, even if that means being miles away in Seattle from her family who lives in Albuquerque, because she wants to ultimately be there for her children as they grow up and have a long marriage with her husband, is a woman I’m proud to have had in my life. And any man, who travels to see his wife every weekend in Seattle and hound the doctors and nurses about his wife’s medications and symptoms--basically becoming a doctor on his own so he was fully educated about his wife's disease--while leaving his children with neighbors, relatives or babysitters and kissing the chance of any promotion at his job goodbye, is a man I’m honored to have known. I've never witnessed any two people fight for each other and on behalf of each other like I saw during those three years while my mom had leukemia.
That’s it. That’s the stuff. That’s a great love. Mom, Dad, I wish you were both here to celebrate your anniversary together and not just as a memory or hope in my heart. But since you’re not; cheers! mazel tov! and happy happy always happy! (Remember your anniversary when I spilled red wine all over the dining room carpet in an effort to try and serve you two and ended up running to my room crying because I'd ruined your special day? You both said it didn't matter and that you still had a happy anniversary.) You are missed and you are incredibly loved.