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Thursday, September 3, 2009


One of the disadvantages of an older marriage is the fact that you may not have the opportunity to know your in-laws.
My father died two years before I met Tom, and both of his parents are deceased. Since we will never have the chance to meet these in-laws in person, Tom and I decided we would get to know them through shared memories and old photographs.

I enjoyed telling Tom stories about adventures with Dad, who definitely marched to the beat of a different drummer. We have spent hours pouring over photo albums as I recalled things I experienced with Dad, weaving in tidbits about his personality, his likes and dislikes, values, etc. I think Tom particularly liked the story about when Dad was teaching me to drive—and the brakes decided to go out on our 1952 Cadillac limousine that my father had purchased in 1964 as a “real steal.” But that wasn’t the worst part. We were traveling (actually careening at that point) down the steepest hill in Eugene, Oregon! I can’t repeat the words Dad used when he was ordering me to stop the car before we hit a very busy intersection. To his dying day, Dad told everyone how I had the presence of mind to pull on the emergency brake; in the midst of all those unmentionable words that—needless to say—did not help the situation!

Tom brought me a photograph of his parents taken shortly after they married in 1943 and we framed it. Tom’s father died when he was only four, so sadly, he doesn’t have many memories of him. But hearing all about Tom’s mother, Alice, has been wonderful. Like—the time she made Tom a red vest when he was chosen to serve at his school’s father/daughter banquet. He was so proud that day, and still has the vest. Through his eyes I saw the sweet, gentle soul who sacrificed so much for her son.

Tom would have liked Dad and I know Alice would have been one of my favorite relatives. And somehow I know that Alice and Dad would have approved of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Lyons.



Eileen Williams said...

What a lovely story of how you and Tom shared memories of your parents. It's those types of vivd experiences that stick with us and never leave. I especially enjoyed hearing about your adventure with the brakes going out. My dad taught me to drive and I've got a couple of those, too!

WOOFers said...

Oh yes! Dads can be something else when they are teaching daughters to drive. One of the things about Alice that comes to mind is the fact that she and I share the same birthday. Isn't that a wonderful coincidence?


Diana Black said...

Yes, I love that story about you learning to drive!

How great for couples to share with each other those special moments and characteristics of the other people in their lives that mean so much to them.

Deepens the relationship...


WOOFers said...

Oh I so agree Diana!


Mary Cunningham said...

Your story brings back memories for all of us!