I just had this image of my Mum and Dad, not as they were in most of my memories, but from a time years before me and my sister were born, a time when they were younger, healthier and happier – maybe a time when they were truly in sync and in love as a couple.
In my mind, I expand it out into a littLe fantasy, where they’d rent a cabin at a rustic little vacation spot, adjoining a campground, near a lake.
Dad’s hair would still be mostly black with just a touch of grey near the temples. He’d wear a white knit pullover with a vee neck and short sleeves, and he’d be trim and in good shape, the way he was when they first got married in 1961.
Mum would have curly dark brown hair that was worn up off her neck. She’d wear a knee-length dress that had the colour and pattern to remind you of autumn leaves.
They would be on a vacation that they’d been looking forward to for months, and both of them would be smiling the whole time.
At lunchtime, Mum would cut a fresh loaf of white bread into thick slices and butter them, while Dad sliced up baloney or corned beef. They’d bring their sandwiches outside to their cabin’s tiny little front porch, and sit on a bench made from a split log, while munching away, talking and sipping on sodas. They’d watch the campers in their tents, and listen to kids splashing in the lake about fifty yards away. Maybe there’d be a nice sunset, and later, a clear and starry night sky.
I only have some snapshots of them in these clothes, driving to some location together on some bright sunny day. Why not complete the story, and wish this for them? At earlier times in their lives, they surely must have had it. They really did love each other once.
This is the kind of afternoon that I enjoy with my wife, at home or away, in our hearts, whenever we want. Just some food, some peace, and some good loving company.