Happy anniversary to my wonderful parents
Updated: August 20, 2012 6:24AM
I remember as a teenager when my dad would sometimes half-jokingly say to us, “Someday, you’ll realize how smart we (he and my mom) were.”
While I don’t think I ever let him know I already had figured that tidbit out for myself, I seemed to know very early on that I had been blessed when it came to parents.
In all of my 56 years, I can’t say with any honesty that I have seen a better example of outstanding parents. While I’m sure that both my mom and dad made a few mistakes along with way, I have not seen or met anyone for whom I would ever have wanted to trade my two parents.
They both are very loving, caring, intelligent and likeable people, with good senses of humor. Each of them has some very different personality traits, but they share those characteristics.
I knew many, many years ago that I was very blessed to have the mom and dad I do. I always have know that, even through all of the mostly ups and a few downs along the way.
I have become very aware over the past five years or so how many of my friends and acquaintances not only probably aren’t as fortunate as I am because their parents obviously never were as cool as mine, but also because both of mine are still here.
As my generation ages, so does the one a step older than us. Many people I know have been without living parents, one or both, for many years. And that trend only continues as we all get older.
There isn’t a day that goes by during which I don’t consciously think, at least for a moment or two, how fortunate I am to still have both my mom and dad in my life as well as in my heart. My mom turned 85 in May; my dad celebrated his 84th birthday in March.
I have attended a few get-togethers over the past couple years with guys I grew up with. Many of them played in the Skokie Indians Little League, just as I did. My dad coached in that league for many years, even beyond when I became too old to continue.
Without exception, every one of the guys who played Little League at that time has asked about my dad. They are thrilled to hear he is still with us. And they always go on to talk about how they have such wonderful memories of him, even more than 40 years later.
They talk about how much they liked him and respected him, both as a person and as a baseball coach. A few of them vividly remember some of the advice he gave. One of his former Little League players is now coaching a high school freshman team in the suburbs. When he contacted me, via email, to tell me about getting that job, he also wrote about my dad and how he remembered so much of what he had been taught about baseball, and life, by my father.
Along with thinking each day about how fortunate I am to still have my parents in my life, I also talk to them on the telephone almost every day, at least for a few moments. I also make it a point to visit with them, in person, on a fairly regular basis.
My dad, never one to be particularly quiet around people he knows, has just smiled when I have passed along some of the comments and good wishes from those former Little Leaguers.
My mom taught for many years at a Chicago elementary school. A few months ago, I was introduced to a friend of a close friend, who told me she had attended the same school at which my mom had worked.
It turned out that she not only recognized my mom’s name; she went on to tell me how much my mom had helped her when she was a student there. She also asked me to please tell my mom she said hello.
I passed that message along to my mom, and she too, just smiled.
Neither my mom nor my dad have any idea how much positive influence they have had on so many, beyond my sister, their grandchildren and myself.
July 17 marks their 61st wedding anniversary, and my dad still will introduce my mom to people as his bride.
While I certainly will do so in person, I want to wish my wonderful parents a very happy anniversary. I do so on my own behalf. And while I usually don’t like to speak for others, I also will take the liberty of wishing them a happy anniversary on behalf of all the others whose lives are just a little bit better for having experienced them.
Chuck Fieldman is a staff writer for The Doings.