Lasting relationships

My parents did long-distance for the past six years while my dad was in graduate school. For the last two Mom has mostly been in Atlanta with him, but at first, it was only on the weekends. In those initial visits, they would pick out a nice restaurant, listen to a concert, or browse in a bookstore, back to back, turning to each other with their finds.

His dissertation is on the optimal frequency, trajectory, and amount of fuel injection in diesel engines. She is a high school French teacher who has not had a math class since 1970. But she sits and nods, listening to him puzzle over a graph that isn't the expected shape, asking for laywoman's clarification, saying "write the next five pages. Leave this for tomororw morning."

My dad huffs from bedroom closet to kitchen to utility room. When he finally turns around, confused look on his face, ready to ask, "Janice, where are my keys?" they're in her extended hand.

My mother and I were looking over her wedding photo album last summer while we were planning my older sister's ceremony. She paused on a page with a picture of my dad staring out a window, hands in pockets, and then one of my grandmother adjusting Mom's veil. "We were such kids," with almost disdain in her voice. Then she looks up. More matter-of-factly, "still kids. But not nervous anymore."

Whenever my father goes to the store, the bank, the post office, he wants my mother to come with him. It isn't just that he wants to make mundane tasks fun, it's that he doesn't want to miss out on time with her. After thirty-one years. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.


At 29/8/05 03:24, Blogger la lawyer said...

That's such a wonderful story. It gives one hope that there are actually relationships in the world that truly work.


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