Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12th, Any Year

We celebrate Columbus Day. Well, a little bit anyway. In our family we celebrated my parents wedding anniversary. It was always, somehow, an easy day to remember. Maybe Columbus and his travels had something to do with that--when I was young I didn't think too much about it. One year my sister and I saved up our allowance and were very proud to give them four little orange juice glasses with oranges painted on them. They're long gone now, but I still remember them--I bet my sister does too.

One particular October 12th, I did something I'm sorry for---more and more each year. It was the day (must have been a good reason it had to be this day, but I can't remember what it is) that I moved out of the house en route for Lincoln, Nebraska with my girl friend. Unlike so, so many of today's youth, I never returned, at least to live. Lincoln was a huge disappointment and my friends an I ultimately wound up in Washington, D.C. (well, Oxon Hill, MD). It's a very long story, but we eventually found jobs and an apartment there. I met my first husband, a marine, we had a daughter, we divorced 7 years later. But I digress.

As I now have grown children of my own, I realize how painful it would be if one of them were to choose to leave the house on an important date. Of course, I would probably say something that would prevent that happening. My parents just let it happen. I don't actually remember there being any mention of it being their anniversary. They were like that. Self-sacrificing. I wonder if I've ever apologized to my mom for that. Next time I see her I will for sure.

When the movie, "Born On The 4th of July" came out that date popped up again. When "Ron Kovic" decides to visit the parents of his buddy who was killed in battle, he stops first at a cemetery to visit his grave. Right there on his buddy's gravestone was the date, October 12th, . . . .it almost knocked me out of my seat. Weird, I know, but true. The day haunts me.

One Columbus Day (not sure it was exactly the 12th) I spent chaperoning my daughter's marching band as they traveled to New York City to march in the big parade they have every year. Ugh!!!!! Never again. They had all the groups lined up in the side streets which, in NYC, are like huge amphitheaters with great acoustics. These kids would NOT stop blowing their horns. I thought I'd go crazy when, in fact, I couldn't actually GO anywhere. I was responsible. I did my best to shut them all up, but once I got one group quiet, another would start up. This went on for about 3 hours before we were actually ushered into the official parade lineup. That was okay fun. I think we were even on TV for a very brief moment.

Today, an ordinary day. Except, of course, it's the 12th of October. It wasn't until I sat down at the computer that I realized I'd missed the anniversary. You see, even though my Dad has passed away, I still try to give Mom a call on this day. I know
she never forgets. It's like that with old lovers. I'll give her a call tomorrow and at least let her know I thought about her (them) even though it was very late in the day.

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