Breakfast in bed.

by mssinglemama on October 28, 2008

My father loved bringing my mother breakfast in bed.

He would also clean the dishes after dinner – every single night, even when he cooked. When he’d come home from work he’d seek her out, “Where is my beautiful wife?”

“Upstairs Dad,” we’d sigh. When he found her he’d scoop her up into a sweet hug and tell her how much he loved her. All six of us, my siblings and I, would groan even more when they kissed in front of us, “stop it!! Gross! Mom and Dad are kissing!”

In the evenings, as we drifted off to sleep, we’d hear laughter pouring up the stairs or quiet voices as they talked and talked and talked. About the house, life, us, the future. The morning he died, after they’d been married for 30 years, I woke up my mother to tell her. “It happened Mom, he’s dead.” His cancer had surfaced six months earlier. Three brain tumors. It spread quickly. He’d been asleep for days when he slipped away.

“I know,” she said.

“How?”

“He was just in my dream, he said good-bye. Why am I still here? I was supposed to go with him.” Her eyes were glazed over. Part of her had left with him.

No more surprise flowers by her bedside, no more lingering hugs and no more soul mate. That fear of ever losing someone like she did had me frozen for years. But after having Benjamin, after becoming a mother, I’ve realized my father wouldn’t want me to be filled with fear on his account. My mother doesn’t either. And she by the way, nearly 10 years after his death, is in love again herself.

We have to go on. We have to keep those we’ve lost alive by living for them, by carrying on and by telling their stories.

—–

They met on a train in 1967 (I think).

He saw her and couldn’t move. His eyes met hers. She smiled and then darted them away. Then he walked up to the empty seat next to her and said,”Can I sit here?”

“No.” My mother answered shortly.

She was dead serious, so sick of men hitting on her. My father, undeterred, took the seat across from her instead. He asked her what she was reading. My mother told him it was none of his business. You get the idea. But, by the end of the train ride from Columbus to Chicago he had convinced her to give him a chance.

I’m giving Mr. Man a chance.

I still can’t find the words to write about him but I can tell you the ice is melting… slowly. And besides, my mother thinks he is amazing – he reminds her of my father. And, deep down, I’m a huge sucker for romance and of course, men who treat women like queens.

In my opinion, they’re the only ones worth having around.

[Photo: My mom and dad shortly after their wedding]

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Marta October 29, 2008 at 6:15 am

I think this is my first official comment!

First I want to say that your mom and dad’s “story” was beautiful. Reminds me very much of how my parents are, we are always telling them that after almost 25 years they still act like a high school couple, so cute! I know it must have been hard but I am glad that your mom has been able to move on and yet you guys are able to keep your dad’s memory alive by telling wonderful stories such as this one.

And second, I’m glad that you are giving Mr. Man a chance and I’m sure in due time you will tell us more about him. I hope to one day be able to let down the walls but so far every time I have done that they just go up higher when it goes wrong. But I’m a sucker for romance too so I will not give up yet!

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T October 29, 2008 at 6:26 am

Oh my goodness!! You are a perfect combination of your parents!!! What a glorious story! *sigh*

Cancer took my daddy too. My parents had been divorced for 15 years by then but they still loved each other. My mom still gets sad when she thinks about it.

I’m glad your mom is feeling it again.

And I’m glad you are too.

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Treemama October 29, 2008 at 6:32 am

i love that photo! you look so much like your mom!

Sweet sweet love story.

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Cyndi October 29, 2008 at 6:42 am

Thank you so much for sharing that story. How beautiful. I’m sorry about your dad, though. My mom is currently battling leukemia.

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Wyliekat October 29, 2008 at 6:56 am

I was given the gift, in my relationship now, of “just knowing”. I just know that he’s right for me, and I for him. I really wish I could give a better explanation than that, but once I let the fear go, and realized that a leap of faith actually requires faith (that it’s worth trying, not about G-d), I’ve been dizzily happy.

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jenn October 29, 2008 at 8:57 am

What a sweet story. And good for you for giving Mr. Man a chance. Maybe it will be worth it.

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Brooke October 29, 2008 at 9:08 am

What a beautiful story, and a beautiful couple. I can see why so many men hit on your mom, she is stunning!

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Laura October 29, 2008 at 9:16 am

That is such a lovely story and how pretty is your mom!!!!

My folks have a similar relationship!!

ENJOY Mr Man – he sounds like he may just be worth it!

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Cat October 29, 2008 at 9:20 am

Reading your description of the way your parents were together (and mine were, and still are, much the same) – this is exactly the reason I left my husband.

I couldn’t show my son what a healthy, happy relationship was when I was with his father, because ours wasn’t.

Anyway – sweet story. I hope we all have our own sweet story one day.

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pisceshanna October 29, 2008 at 9:40 am

*sigh* I wish I had 30 years of that. Maybe even a year. Or 6 months. Or a day. The fact your mother likes this guy looks very promising. Good luck!

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J-Fo October 29, 2008 at 11:03 am

THIS is exactly the love that I hope to show my own daughter. What a great example that was for you and your siblings. (Even though it was nauseating to your kid brains! :) )

Thanks for sharing this story. I’m such a sucker for love.

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CME October 29, 2008 at 11:03 am

Wow…that’s the kind of love I thought only existed in fairy tales. Thanks for sharing, especially about your mom and dad. Even after two failed relationships, I still have hope.

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Katherine (SOLO dot MOM) October 29, 2008 at 12:38 pm

I think this is one of my fave blogs of yours yet. How beautiful. May your man prove to be just as grand as your dad was for your mom!

love this!

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Rita1968 October 29, 2008 at 1:21 pm

My dad died of cancer when I was 21 as well. And I also think that it has had a big impact on my relationships. I think this is why I choose the wrong men. Fear of commitment. If I choose toxic men then there is no chance of a long term relationship. The hurt of loving someone so much and then losing them is pretty powerful. Fingers crossed for you for this man.

I love that photo of your mum and dad. It’s beautiful x

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Jessica Ashley (Sassafrass) October 29, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Ohhh honey. What you captured here will last a lifetime and likely more.

Sending you all love.

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littlemansmom October 29, 2008 at 4:37 pm

That is most def. a very beautiful story………….and I’d like to add….I’m proud of you… :)

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Tricia October 29, 2008 at 5:01 pm

My parents weren’t necessarily like that, but they weren’t horrible, either. It was basically like they coexisted, and the one thing they definitely had in common was their love for me, if not so much for each other.

It’s stories like the one you tell here that makes me believe it’s out there for me. I wasted ten years always hoping my marriage would grow into a relationship like that, and now I know much better what not to settle on.

I know it’s out there. Your story is one example of why I believe. Thanks for sharing.

And good for you in giving Mr. Man a shot. You just never know ’til you explore the possibilities! He may not be It, but he just might be, too…

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stepping over the junk October 30, 2008 at 11:06 am

lovely! sweet and sad and happy all in one.

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dancingmom October 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. I agree — your dad would not want you or your mom to cease to find happiness in your lives and grieve forever. xo

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spatulahandle November 3, 2008 at 2:03 am

Your parents sound like mine. My dad died four and a half years ago, he had cancer also. They were married 31 years when he passed away. We miss him very much, my kids and I talk about him often.
I am glad you have found someone and you are warming up to him.

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