Letters in the Sky

A loving marriage lasting over six decades is as awe-inspiring as a star-filled night sky. I never grew tired of hearing my parents talk about how they met. Each detail was infused with love that put a twinkle in their eyes as they grew older.

It was springtime in Milwaukee when the city began to thaw and patio furniture came out of hibernation. Locals, excited for warmer temperatures, bid their parkas farewell and reached for shorts and sandals. It did not matter if the weather was only in the fifties; it was still much warmer than living through winter’s aggression. World War II had already begun. The atmosphere was unsettling.

The writing of my parents’ story would not have transpired without Dad’s friend, George. Dad was in the U.S. Army Air Force at the time but home on a 3-day pass. He happened to visit George at work one day at the bank, and walking into the bank’s entry, he noticed a beautiful gal with gorgeous legs sitting behind a desk. He was captivated.

mom

George managed to talk Mom into a blind date with Dad, but the condition was for George and his girlfriend to join in. And so, a double date was set. The beautiful young woman with the nice legs was nineteen and the handsome young gentleman was twenty-one when they met on June 29, 1941. The two couples enjoyed good conversation, laughter, dinner at Wegerman’s Resort at Pewaukee Lake, and dancing to the tunes of Tommy Dorsey and Glen Miller. This evening proved to be the spark that ignited my parent’s love for each other.

Do you believe in love at first sight? They did. Early the following year, Dad was informed that his squadron was to be dispatched to the European Theater. This news and the fact that he was in love with Mom complicated matters. He did not want to lose her, so he proposed, hoping with all his heart her answer would be yes. Her feelings matched his, but she declined Dad’s proposal because of the imminent uncertainty. Mom had never been impulsive, so had she left the decision up to her heart, she would have married him immediately. Dad was disappointed but respected her wishes. However, I should tell you that persistence turned into his new middle name.

Some time passed and while they were out for dinner one night, Dad asked Mom to marry him again. He felt a second try was worthwhile because she was the only woman who held his heart. In the restaurant, they sat on red velvet chairs and their table was dressed in a silky white tablecloth. Twinkle lights glistened above as Dad proposed in the glow of the soft-lit candle on their table. Restaurant patrons nearby witnessed this occasion, clapping when they heard her say, “Yes!” Mom offered her left hand as Dad slipped the solitaire on her ring finger. Its sparkle matched the tears of joy in her eyes. She loved him without a doubt and realized life will always be full of unknowns.

Dad was then stationed overseas for three years – a long time for them to be apart. They stayed in touch by old-fashioned letter writing, which enabled them to learn more about each other and grow closer while separated by an ocean and war. I imagine them holding the precious envelope to their cheek as though it was the cheek of their beloved. They professed their love as their letters flew back and forth among the cotton ball clouds in the sky, befitting as the glue in their long-distance relationship.

The year was 1945 and the weather was frosty in early February. Dad was fortunate to return to America on a “rotation plan,” meaning thirty days at home then returning to Italy. After taking a quick two weeks to plan their wedding, the aisle of the church sanctuary gracefully carried Mom towards her future husband on February 24th as he waited at the altar. She wore an ivory satin wedding gown that cost $39.95 and she looked as elegant and classy as Rita Hayworth. Dad looked handsome as ever in his Air Force Uniform. Following their honeymoon in Chicago at The Edgewater Beach Hotel on Lake Michigan, he returned to Europe and the ink on the stationery kept the fires burning until he was honorably discharged in September.

Mom and Dad wedding 1945

Over the years, their faces lit up when they told of those early memories. Their romance, love, and excitement danced in every sentence. Now that they have both passed, I miss the story-telling. I miss the animation in Dad’s voice and facial expressions, how Mom filled in the gaps where Dad left blank spaces, or how she fine-tuned his recollections. Their marriage was not devoid of struggles, but it was one of commitment and everlasting love. They were “attached at the hip.” He was her best friend and she was his.

As Dad once said, “That blind date blossomed into sixty-seven years of marriage, three lovely daughters, seven grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. So, I am very grateful to my friend, George!” To fall in love on a blind date, to hug good-bye in distressing war times, to stay in touch through handwritten letters, and to share seventy years is my parents’ story. Dad is not around to tell their tale anymore, nor is Mom to chime in when she should, but the memories stay vivid and their story is ageless. What a journey they traveled together through rainbows and rainstorms.

 

mom and baby lauren

Mom and guess who?

family

My family…
I have older sisters who are almost two years apart.
Then I came ten years later. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my parent’s love story. ❤

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

 

 

 

 

Anticipation

The day is approaching
when I’ll be left
standing on the sidewalk
watching your car
become smaller and smaller
as the distance between us
grows wider

Your dream has been patient
for a lifetime, it seems
It’s been eager to be set free
So I’m glad the time has come
for you to chase it

When you reach that state,
Capture it, Hold it tightly
as if it’s a new puppy
wiggling excitedly
to jump out of your arms
Feel the joy I feel for you –
know how proud I am

Oh, yes, I’ll shed
a few…
in fact, the rain
may linger
for a day or two

But remember
to live your dream
knowing my love for you
stays in your heart
wherever you may travel

Lauren Scott © 2018
(To my daughter) ❤

Five O’clock

The table was always
beautifully adorned
with pretty linen and
mouthwatering aromas

three sets of pigtails
never starved
for love and care

ashtrays were fixtures,
but laps in the pool
would offset inhaling –
years later, those clear-
colored decorations
would disappear

they loved and laughed
into their ninth decade,

but the secret remained
a mystery, until…

with a wink and a smile,
it was said to be
the olive in the martini

Lauren Scott © 2018

The Right Time

Within the four walls
memories stir, the smell
of cologne remains
poignant, the sound of
laughter echoes a favorite
tune, tears struggle to
be set free.

The closet’s belly stays 
nearly full after six months’
worth 
of grieving. Clothes
hang 
proudly as if he’ll
search 
for the right shirt
and matching 
pants for the
day’s 
activities, all hoping
to be 
chosen for the outing.
Shoes sit tightly for their
next walk like dogs eagerly
awaiting their master’s call.

Some belongings have
warmed 
the backs of those
in need. But 
emotion’s pull is
firm, so to surrender
 all
feels like a balloon slipping
through fingers, escaping
into the big blue, slowly
fading away…

Lauren Scott © 2018

 

29 Years and Counting!

In honor of our 29th wedding anniversary, here is a poem I wrote years ago for my husband. Some of you may remember it…

box-with-red-bow

The Box

You placed it in my hands, adorned with a red bow
only a short clip of time had passed by our window

After pulling out tissue paper of white
I was entranced by the amazing sight

For inside was a lifetime together and
a house to be filled by the love we would gather

The walls stood bare waiting for memories to dress
showing reasons for us feeling truly blessed

The best gift of all, though, I am thrilled to say
was your heart at the bottom, committed to stay

Lauren Scott © 2018
Photo: Google

our wedding jan 21 18989

(Over the years, some things have changed besides us getting older :). God Bless my husband’s mom and both of my parents as they rest in Heaven. And we hope for  another 29 years, so we can continue growing old together.) 💕

Dear Dad,

family

daughters

Your beloved wife has been with the angels
Your time has now come, our hearts ever faithful

For you wear your wings now, as you soar beside Mom
Two more angels in Heaven, as we play your song

Swaying to the oldies, you both loved to dance
The timing is now for your second chance

Lauren Scott 2017
(Today is the two-month anniversary of my Dad’s death. The
grieving process shifts from one stage to another. It’s still with us –
we miss our parents, but knowing they’re together again grants us
comfort and peace. These are just two photos of many more that
will be cherished forever.) 💕

The Simplest of Treasures

my parents' black silverware

It’s not uncommon to find sentimental possessions after parents move on to their eternal life. When my husband and I camped earlier this month, and while preparing for our first dinner, I found the box of silverware that we always use. This set came from my parents, who used it at our cabin in Big Bear, CA back in the sixties and seventies. How funny that I can vividly remember using it in our rustic mountain get-away, even though I was very young. It’s amazing how some memories stay in our minds over the years.

Anyway, after arriving home, then in the midst of doing camping clean-up, it dawned on me that I didn’t want this set stashed away in the camping tub anymore – not to be seen or used until the next trip, which currently is unplanned. This set of black silverware suddenly held an abundance of sentimentality and tugged at my heart. I even broke down during that first night of camping after coming across this treasure, crying hard for several minutes. Oh, how my heart was hurting…Yes, I’m still grieving, but I’m also appreciating those vivid, loving memories.

Then I thought even deeper and had a good talk with my husband about how sturdy this set is to have lasted through about five decades! No, it’s not fancy, and black doesn’t match the interior of our home; however, it is neutral, versatile, and durable (as we now know). So, as much as I love to coordinate decorations, themes, and colors, I’m bending my own rules because this black silverware has become a vital component in our kitchen. Whenever we use it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we think of my parents, Mom’s excellent cooking, the conversations that flowed around the table, and family love and contentment that followed those delicious meals. It just goes to show that the simplest of treasures can hold the most significance.

Do you have a similar story to share about a simple treasure that means a lot to you? If so, I’d love to read it…

Lauren Scott 9.28.17