Thursday, February 7, 2008
Today is my parents' 49th wedding anniversary. Never separated, they died together in March of 1969, one month past the tenth celebration of their marriage.
Although Ron and Bernadette each showed talent and enthusiasm as children, the marriage gave them the supportive and loving partnership to fulfill the promise of their youth.
They grew up four miles apart from each other in the Chicago suburbs of LaGrange and Clarendon Hills. In his twenties, Ron joined the Air Force and traveled to bases in Arizona, Texas, and Colorado and as far as Okinawa. Bernie went downstate to school. But these travels were mere circumlocutions around the center of their worlds -- family. They eventually returned home to their parents and siblings, met sometime in 1957 and were married two years later on an overcast and cold day, with snow piled around the church doors.
In their ten brief years together they packed so much life. Four children, a thriving and demanding family business, care of the home. Collaboration with friends to found a Montessori pre-school. Local activism for civil rights. Teaching at the parish church, spiritual work to deepen their faith.
Now they have four beautiful grand-daughters who inherited their grandfather's drive and platinum hair, their grandmother's regal height and merriment.
Finishing the book for their fiftieth would be a fitting gift, don't you think?