As I woke up this morning to a chaotic world, as I usually do when I’m troubled, my thoughts turned to my parents and how I wished they were here to tell me everything’s going to be OK.
Mama’s been gone for 20 years and Daddy left me 12 years ago, but I still miss them every day of my life.
In spite of being born in 1912, the year the Titanic sank in the icy Atlantic Ocean, my dad was the soul of calmness throughout his life. And he had to be after he fell in love with my mom, a spirited dark-haired mountain girl who could laugh just as hard as she could cut you with her tongue.
A year after they eloped, I was born, and over the years my daddy would hug Mama and me and sing to us,
“Just Bessie and me,
And Betty makes three,
So happy are we,
In my blue heaven.”
If only for a few minutes, I wish I could once again feel that sense of security and being loved that I experienced as my daddy held us.
I’m 84 years old, but some days I still feel like an orphan.
But the memories I have of these two wonderful people are a great comfort to me as I wonder how they would have reacted to the troubled times we’re now experiencing.
I do know Daddy would have had a difficult time during quarantine convincing Mama that social distancing was necessary.
She loved to shop and go to lunch, and as she shopped or ate a meal, she always engaged whoever waited on her or served her meal in conversation.
Mama would never have been satisfied to do as I have for the past months and order groceries online, with an anonymous drop off at the door.
She was hands-on, especially when it came to choosing her beloved fruits and vegetables.
She could tell by touch and smell which cantaloupe would be at the peak of juiciness and flavor, and when she bagged turnip or mustard greens, she looked over almost every leaf, discarding any imperfections.
As for distancing herself from family and friends, that would never have happened without her being in physical restraints.
Daddy would have had his hands full.
Alzheimer’s ravaged the last two years of Mama’s life. She died the year before 9/11 became a date that would live in infamy, and I was thankful she did not experience the desperate fear that would have overcome her if she had known what was happening.
Daddy was a rock as the strong woman he married was overcome by the disease.
After she died, he told me that Mama had made him promise that he would never die before she did, and he kept his promise.
Daddy lived eight years after Mama left us, and I was blessed to share his life.
He was a quiet, shy man, but he overcame his shyness while having a successful career in the insurance business, and he was proud to serve as a deacon in his church.
During this uneasy period for our country, with a pandemic being overshadowed by wrongful death and destruction, I wish my daddy was here to give me a hug and promise me it’s all gonna be alright.
After all, he always kept his promises.