So sang Englebert Humperdinck back in the 70s.
The first few days of February are rather solemn and sad for us but filled with many happy memories. Our Mom passed away on February 3, 2004 and was laid to rest on February 6, the anniversary of our Dad’s passing many years before—still close to each other even in death.
As Jack, Roe and I remembered our folks, we did laugh over some of the memories, many that I’ve shared with you. Remember when Dad built a sturdy picnic table and benches in the basement and they wouldn’t fit through the door to the back yard?
Our folks were having company for dinner and Mom decided lasagna was going to be the main course. It was bubbling and looked so delicious as she took the pan out of the oven and laid it on a pad near the kitchen sink. Crash! The pan slid off the pad and went upside down into the sink!
I vividly remember meeting Mom for dinner one evening after work. The restaurant was crowded and the owner suggested we wait at the bar until a table became available.
Ole prissy me said: “Oh, I don’t feel comfortable sitting at a bar.”
“What difference does it make,” Mom responded, “You’re with your mother.” That made it “right!”
Mom and Dad loved to dance. Back when they were “courting,” they’d get a group together and go to different ballrooms and dance the night away. We remember them as usually being the first couple on the dance floor at weddings and parties. They were a sight to behold: flawlessly moving across the dance floor, smiling and enjoying the music, motion and each other.
Christmas 1975, we gave Dad a tape recorder. Coming from a family who loved music and singing, he spent one whole day playing his beautiful mandolin, filling both sides of a tape with the songs he remembered. At the end, he spoke: “How’s that for an old buck? And, boy, are my fingers sore!” It is wonderful to listen to his music and hear him speak any time we feel the need to be close.
The tape was eventually “burned” on a CD with copies for us and all the grandchildren. The CD case cover is special: A color photo of a smiling Mom and Dad while they happily danced.
Son Joe once asked Roe if Nanny and Grandpa were buried side by side. She answered that they were. His comment? “Grandpa probably said: ‘C’mon, Mary, let’s get the hell outta here!’” It gave new meaning to the photo on the CD cover.
And off they went, dancing that last waltz together.