My sister, Mary, and I are at the beginning of the long, arduous, and sometimes painful process of settling our parents’ estate. On many days it’s not a lot of fun. On the other hand, Mom and Dad always told us not to be sad when they died. “We’ve had full, wonderful lives,” they would say, “and we want you to remember the good times. Laugh at them every chance you get.”
Well, obedient children that we’ve always been, we are doing just that.
Today Mary reminded me of the time Dad bought Mom a book on improving her memory by word association. They traveled a lot in connection with his work, and Dad said he wished Mom would try harder to remember the names of the people they met along the way. Dad never forgot a name in his life. Mom, on the other hand, seldom remembered one.
So Dad bought the book, Mom read the book, and off they went to a business meeting somewhere. The first night they were there, they were introduced to a Mr. and Mrs.
Westinghouse. Mom very politely called them by name, and Dad had to have been pleased. They didn’t see the Westinghouse’s again until several days later at which time Mom spotted Mrs. Westinghouse across the hotel lobby. Hoping to impress Dad with her new and improved
memory, she rushed over and said, “Well hello again, Mrs. Refrigerator!”
Dad never bought Mom any more books. But they would both be laughing right along with us now at the retelling of this story. They didn’t have a lot in the way of material possessions, but they left us a treasure chest of marvelous memories. I hope I can do as well by my children someday.