Parental Admiration

Weekly Photo Challenge: Show us someone or something you admire (and tell us about them, too)!

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Hands down, I admire my parents the most. Evan and Pauline. They met and and began dating while both were working at the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P grocery store) in the early 1950’s. Evan was a manager and Pauline a bookkeeper. When my father was transferred to a store in the small burg of Waupaca, he decided that my mother should follow and thus proposed to her. They married in 1954.

In February, 1956, they had a son, Gregg, and in September, 1957, daughter Mary came into the world. Dad continued to work as a manager for the A&P for most of his career, while mom took care of her children and the home. She would work for a while at the A&P, until dad was transferred again, this time to Oshkosh.

At some point, my brother and I grew up and moved out of the house and dad was transferred, for the last time, to an A&P in Milwaukee. Some would say he came full circle. Finally, dad retired and he and mom moved back to Oshkosh, where they lived happily ever after. I estimate that occurred about 30 or 35 years ago.

Here’s the admiration part…

It wasn’t until I started to help them and know them better in their later years, that I realized the strength of these two people. Dad was a hard worker, a devoted husband and father, a provider, a devout Catholic, a gardener, a painter, a tailor, and a comedic wit. Mom was stoic, unflappable, a great cook, a loving mother and wife, a devout Catholic (mom and dad rarely missed Sunday mass), an amazing domestic engineer, and lover of brandy manhattans. Together, Evan and Pauline made a great team and I happen to believe they did a pretty good job of raising two kids with morals and ethics.

They were also organized and believed in preparation. I never wanted to talk to them about death and making plans for the inevitable, but that didn’t matter. Mom and dad took the bull by the horns, enlisting me to help them prepare for a funeral and other arrangements. I thanked dad for this posthumously, when I was a blubbering train wreck after his death. There was so much I didn’t have to worry about that week, thank goodness.

I look at mom today and wonder where she gets the strength to keep going at 96. I’m not sure what kind of plan God has for her. Perhaps He is giving me the gift of a mother who I admire very much.

Dad has been gone four years. Mom and I miss him terribly. Mom misses him for the companionship. I miss his engaging humor and deep voice. I admired dad for his work and family ethic, but most often for his quick wit. It was killer.

I hope you enjoy photos of old photos of the two people I admire most. It’s a reminder to me of what a wonderful, long life they have lived and the gratefulness I feel every day that they gave my brother and I life, a happy home and love.

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22 responses to Parental Admiration

  1. Dan Antion says:

    This was a very nice post, Mary. You’ve mentioned your parents before, but it was good to see it all in one place. I’d say they raised a very nice little girl. I remember taking my grandmother to the A&P, every Friday night. In case you think things fade over time, my father has been gone for 33 years and I still miss so many things about him.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m sorry your father passed away at such a young age, Dan. But the fact that you still miss him says a lot about the man. I had no thoughts of my dad’s memory ever fading. I think it’s as strong today as it was the day after he died. I could never ever forget his voice…he used to make my cousin cry, when she was little, by the sound of his deep voice. It was funny to us, not to the cousin.

      I have great memories of the grocery store and the day-old bakery he brought home for us. Good times!

  2. joannesisco says:

    It’s a lovely tribute to your parents, MJ. It speaks volumes about a couple when their children speak so well about them. The admiration you carry for them implies that they apparently did many things right!! ❤

  3. Applause and admiration to the two special people described here. They sound like they were definitely parents to be admired and missed greatly when gone. Here’s hoping your Mom has many more happy years that you two can share. 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Judy. They were wonderful parents. I only wish I could have said “thank you” to them more often.I have stopped counting years with mom. Instead, I count every day that passes that she’s still here.

  4. joey says:

    Lovely post.
    I find it interesting how many hats your father wore. I relate.
    I agree, they must have done a fine job 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      If you like him in a hat, you should have seen him in a dress…for Halloween. I won’t be posting that photo here, though…dad needs to have some dignity in heaven.

      • joey says:

        I meant figuratively, but yes, dignity indeed. Men of that generation were so dapper!

      • joey says:

        I’d hoped, I’d hoped, but I’d forgive you if you didn’t — I mean, it IS cocktail hour on a Saturday…Oh wait! That’s MY sense of humor. lol

  5. quarksire says:

    wow 96 how kewl is dat!!!!! 🙂 ……… what an honor to live that long in my bewk 🙂 ….. right on poat-it…. Q

      • quarksire says:

        my mothers side is dat way,,,i sure hope i gots some of my mommas genetics also, cuz i gots this pkd stuff frum my dads side,,an dat ain’t so good, but such as life live while i can .an do da best i can one day @ a time,,take care,,ull live to be 100 prolly! 🙂 wow…..

  6. Ah, so that’s where you get it from….

    Absolutely adored the photos. You all look very happy and like there must have been a lot of laughter in your house.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yeah, I totally blame dad for the stupid humor. Mom was a bit more stoic as we were growing up and while we had plenty of laughs, she made sure we didn’t forget our serious side.

  7. LB says:

    The slideshow is great! Has your mom seen this post, Mary?
    I enjoyed learning about your parents, and reading about your appreciation for them.
    Wonderful!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Laurie. Unfortunately, mom isn’t able to see this post or the photos as she has macular degeneration. It’s difficult for her to see anything in writing.

      • LB says:

        Oh no, and I think I remember now that you’ve mentioned that before. Even still, she knows your love and gratitude because you are there for her.

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