...my parents were married.
Although we lost Mom three years ago to cancer, I'll never forget spending that last anniversary with them on March 6, 2003. I went to a local restaurant in Selma, AL to get them dinner and Mom had babyback ribs. She was pretty much bedridden at that point but sat on the edge of the makeshift hospital bed we set up downstairs and ate every bit of her dinner...licking her fingers along the way! She insisted on signing her anniversary card to Dad herself even though her writing wasn't so good at that time. I recall it said "Hang in there with me..." Which he did.
7 days later we lost her at 7:14 pm.
To me, March 6 will always represent two anniversaries: their wedding anniversary and the night when I sat there eating dinner with Mom by the glow of the TV never knowing that just one week later I would soon be without that magnificent woman in my life. What would I have done differently?
I would have asked for her vegetable soup recipe. It was hers and hers alone and I cannot recreate it no matter how hard I try. I would have stayed there instead of going home and planning to come back the next weekend. I would tell her just how much I aspire to be like her and ask her all the parenting questions I now have about my own childhood that only she has the answers to. But, time slipped away before I had the chance to do those things.
I had 32 beautiful years with her and that is what I celebrate today. I say a special thank you to God for bringing a self-professed "techno-geek" and a young artist together in 1965.
And, 41 years later, I continue to celebrate and reflect on a love that resulted in my sister and I.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad...