TONIGHT WOULD BE 61 YEARS OF MARRIAGE
Mom and dad in living room.
Sixty one years ago tonight December 31st, my mom and dad said their wedding vows.
They were so young. In fact they had to go to another state to get married. The state they lived in did not permit underage marriage. You see my mom was young. She got married when she was fourteen years of age and she had me when she was fifteen.
Like all marriages Mom and Dad had their ups and downs. Dad had gone into the army to support his new family. Back in the early 1950’s there was no work unless you wanted to work in the cotton mills. We are from North Carolina. My father’s family came from the Cherokee Indians in North Carolina Mountains and my Mother’s side of the family came from the English side of the mountain.
Although my father was working in the cotton mill at the time that he met my mom he realized it was a dead end job. So off to war he went, and left my mom pregnant with me.
After basic training my father immediately went to Korea. In fact my father was on Port Chop Hill. It is a miracle he lived through any of it. He has told some terrible stories but only to the men of the family. He never spoke of it to any of us women.
I recently watched a movie about Pork Chop Hill and it was so terrible, although my father said it didn’t tell the whole story. But after watching it made me appreciate what my father went through. My father was a war hero. He spent 21 years in the Army; he was in Vietnam twice always fighting. He swears that Korea was worse than Vietnam although Vietnam was very horrific.
Mom was always the dutiful wife and very loving towards everyone. There was not a person alive that met my mom that didn’t talk about what a great woman she was. She loved Dad through everything. No matter what she loved him, and he adored her.
Mom and dad ended up having eight of us kids, me being the oldest. I have four sisters and three brothers, and later they adopted my cousin that was being abused. So all in all there were nine kids.
In 2003 we lost one of us girls, her third child from the last. My sister and I were best friends. And she adored my mom and dad. She was a great daughter and a great sister. When my sister died it hurt us all but really hurt mom. When mom got to the hospital in the middle of the night my sister was already dead and mom screamed a scream that to this day tears me apart. It was so terrible. I still cry.
On their 40th wedding anniversary my sisters and brothers and I got together and gave Mom and dad their first big Anniversary party. Then on their 50th another one, when it was their 55th wedding anniversary we did it again, and every year after that we held more party’s for them.
You see the last ten years my mom has been very sick. She lost a kidney back in the 80’s and the kidney that was left was deteriorating. She had Kidney disease. A stint had to be put in her arm so she could have dialysis three times a week. Then that wasn’t enough she had to do it from home every night. The last year of her life she was in a wheelchair and on oxygen. My mom never smoked a day in her life and did not drink. Although the doctors encouraged her to have a beer a night to clean out her kidneys she tried it and never liked it.
Last Year this time we gave mom and dad their last anniversary party you see we lost mom the end of July.
It has been a sad Thanksgiving and Christmas without Mom. Especially for my Dad, He is so lost.
I think most of us in the family if not all of us have experience something this past five months. Mom trying to talk to us or I don’t know send us messages, to let us know she is all right and doing great.
I keep thinking that I should be at the hall where we would have the party’s and decorating like I did every year, trying to make it more special than last year.
Whatever the case may be, it is so sad for me and all of us because it is mom and dad’s anniversary it would have been 61 years.
©Copyright 2011 by POET DEBORAH BROOKS-LANGFORD