|Happy anniversary my parents
Often, after she finished her solitary supper, she would just sit at the kitchen table in no hurry to enter the rest of the house which seemed even emptier at night. She would remember how everyone used to rush off after they had eaten – the boys up to their rooms and Peter to his favorite TV news programs.
Always so much to do and it seemed at times the boys would never grow up so she could have at least a little time to herself. Time for herself. Oh my, she had lots of time now, big blocks of time which filled so little space in her life. Especially now with Peter gone
Have you forgiven someone who deeply hurt you?
They had planned to travel a little after the boys all left, only Peter had been part of a different plan. She would give anything to have those frenzied days back again, but of course it was impossible. There was her volunteer work and the house work and the occasional baking for bake sales, but she missed the noise and she would have been happy to hear the angry voices in the midst of a fight. “Ma, he took my shirt without asking” and “Ma, he won’t let me study.” Ma, Ma, Ma. Sometimes she had wanted to throttle them, and now she wanted only to hug them and hold them close. She looked at babies on the street and felt sad, remembering when her arms were also full.
She was being especially silly tonight, and she had told Charlotte, one of her neighbors who had dropped by earlier, that today would have been her fortieth anniversary and they had talked of a special celebration this year. Foolish woman. After Charlotte left she had baked the chocolate blackout cake that had been a favorite of Peter’s, and there it sat in the refrigerator, awaiting its trip to the table.
Last year the boys had all called, and they had laughed and talked about the big forty and how they would all celebrate, only there was nothing to celebrate now. In fact, no one had called, but you really couldn’t observe a wedding anniversary with half a couple, could you? At least that’s what she had said to Charlotte, who kind of clicked her teeth at her and looked sad.
Feeling sorry for herself, was she? Come on, gal,
Like tonight. What was he barking at? He thought he owned the street, maybe even the world, but certainly anything on this block was his terrain. Tonight something was setting him off. So she walked over to the window to see what it was. There was only a car. “For heaven’s sake, Max,” she admonished, “we’re not the only people on the street.” Maybe Mrs. Boris, another neighbor, was having company. She had a big family and they came often to visit their parents.
But Max kept right on, and she thought she heard a noise at the door. Never fearful of the dark or the unknown, she went to the door, flung it open and said, “See, Max – there’s no one – oh my Lord!” They were standing there, the three of them, and they yelled, “Surprise, surprise” and suddenly there were hugs and kisses everywhere – her boys had come home.
“I didn’t think you’d remember and besides, with Dad . . .” Her voice trailed off in a blur of tears.
“Ma,” that was Josh’s voice, “you and Dad were always here for us, always in our hearts and our memories, and every anniversary will be our special day.” The others nodded, and now the tears were rolling down her face. “Hey, Ma, where’s the cake?” That was Chuck’s voice. “We want to party.” Suddenly she smiled and ran back to the kitchen, thanking the divine force that had directed her to bake her cake today and had given her three wonderful sons. she scolded herself, let’s get our act together and have a big slice of cake and maybe some treats for Max, who must have read her mind because he began to bark. Poor old Max. He had been Peter’s dog, waiting for him by the door each night till he came home. Some nights he still waited at the door which never opened, jumping up and barking at the slightest noise.
-Evelyn Marder Levin