Monday night, I spoke to a group in a senior living center at Sagewood at Daybreak. It’s where my parents live. Happily.
My sister and I made them move there several years ago, when the Old Man started getting lost in their Holladay home. It was time to surrender not only the house, but also his driver license.
Mom teaches a ceramics class at Sagewood. Completely at loose ends, my father sits at the door and watches her. He’s one part servant, two parts guard and seven parts “What the hell else am I going to do?”
Mom asked me to speak to the education group there. I agreed to do it because, well, she’s my mother. I owe her.
She’s the person who gave me life, taught me to stop going to the bathroom in my pants and even once told the cops I wasn’t home when I was. Since the Old Man was stationed in Korea at the time, we got away with it.
My parents sat together in the audience Monday evening, holding hands and waiting for me to start. I’ve been their son long enough to recognize the looks on their faces.
Mom • “That’s my son and I love him.”
Dad • “Say something that embarrasses your mother. I dare you. You won’t make it out of the building alive.”
Seeing my parents together, I noticed how many singles are at Sagewood, people who had never married, been divorced or had outlived their spouses.
These folks weren’t exactly alone, but they also weren’t exactly with someone either. That got me thinking about my wife and which of us will go first. Hopefully, we have a lot more time together, but you never know.
I hope I go first. You better hope so, too. She’s the only thing between some of you and the stuff that goes on in my head.
Also, if I die first, I know my wife will be cared for. We’ve moved into a separate apartment in the home of my eldest daughter, whose husband is a registered nurse. She’ll have plenty of company with all the kids and grandkids living so close.
If my wife goes first, then the world gets truly weird. There won’t be anyone to tell me that something is a bad idea. Not anyone I’ll listen to anyway.
I’ll be going to church without pants, testing reloads in the house again and maybe showing up at the Legislature with 500 gallons of liquid manure and a pressurized hose.
I would make it the mission of my waning years to chainsaw the legs off ...
Breaking that thought, I looked at my parents again. They still were holding hands. I realized that this month is their 65th wedding anniversary.
I don’t know which wedding anniversary that is. Some lists say it’s the sapphire jubilee.
Makes sense. There ought to be something special for 65 years of holding it together. Most couples don’t make it that far. Not if they had kids like me.
You know what? Never mind. If a couple make it beyond 60 years and they still love each other despite the fact that they frequently drive each other nuts — that’s gift enough.