Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Memories of visiting my Aunt Lorraine, Uncle Don and cousins are always filled with laughter, fun and a little bit of salt with the sweetness. My aunt and uncle were an interesting pair. I can remember many times sitting at their table, Aunt Lorraine complaining about Uncle Don and Uncle Don having a comeback then looking at us with that toothy, crooked grin and a wink. Aunt Lorraine would shake her head and roll her eyes, one arm across her stomach and the other resting on it holding a cigarette up in the air between two fingers. Their relationship was a bit passive-aggressive, not the picture book version but it worked for them for over 50 years.
My Mom & Stepfather live in Minnesota but for a few years, wintered in Mesa, Arizona. The siblings and I flew down for Mom's 70th birthday in 2002. One of the last days we were there, we decided to visit the very large and beautiful Phoenix City Park. We took two cars and drove across town, taking a meandering route to avoid the congested freeways. We were waiting for a stoplight and I looked down the street. I spotted this older couple walking away from us on the sidewalk about a half block down. Recognition. Not of faces, their backs were turned to us, but rather of a bantering couples' body language. I asked my sisters in the car with me, "Don't they remind you of Lorraine and Don?" The light turned green, we turned down the street and once we passed and saw their faces, started yelling and waving out the window. They had arrived in Phoenix but hadn't called my Mom yet. We ended up spending a wonderful day together.
Uncle Don has been gone for almost two years now. That smile and wink is what I see when I think of him. I am thankful for the wonderful memories.