Mom and Dad rendezvoused at our house on a brilliant fall afternoon. A sunny, lazy Saturday afternoon. Indian summer with wood smoke and rustling leaves.
They came from different directions; Mom from Detroit, Dad from wherever he resides now. They came ostensibly to visit our small family, the few near them as Mom and Dad struggled through the last few years of Dad’s life. His death sent them away from us – Mom to Detroit, and Dad to wherever he resides now.
Their visit made the house even more of a home for a few hours. They could barely keep their eyes off each other while reminiscing and joking and fawning. Mom would accommodate Dad as he struggled with the physical limitations that flipped their marriage and established her as his caretaker, protector, identity.
The visit was achingly short, and ended abruptly, as if Mom and Dad wanted to avoid saying good bye. I remember looking out the bedroom window. From upstairs I could see through the flaming leaves of the maple at Mom and Dad standing together in our driveway. Before Mom got into her van I watched them mouth devotions to each other, then dad stooped down to kiss mom, his condition making it awkward and Mom laughing and saying, “no, Ron, over here” as she moved her pursed target in closer reach. They embraced under the maple, the sum warming them.
Mom drove off to Detroit and dad shuffled down our sidewalk to wherever he resides now.