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