It was a hot, muggy, 4th of July morning in Florida. I had come from Idaho to visit my parents to celebrate their 60th anniversary. Mom and Dad were excited I had made the trip and I was excited knowing I’d be getting to chow down on Mom’s fantastic Sicilian style cooking for a whole week. Things were looking good for Ronnie…until I came out of the spare bedroom and stepped into the living room.
There they were, Mom and Dad, locked in an embrace and making out like a couple of teenagers. I was in shock.
“Jeez, you two! For cryin’ out loud! Haven’t you had enough of that stuff over the past sixty years?” I asked sternly. “No wonder you two are always too tired to go anywhere. This is strange you guys…very strange!”
As they loosened their grip on each other Dad looked up and said, “Good morning, Ronnie. Did you sleep well last night?”
“I slept fine,” I said disgustedly, still surprised at the site of my parents making out.
I knew Mom wasn’t going to let this go. You have to picture Mom here for a second. She was 4’10” tall; about 100 pounds; Sicilian; had a sharp wit and loved using it; and looked and talked exactly like Sophia from the sitcom, The Golden Girls. Got the picture? Good now hold that vision for a moment.
Mom got up from the sofa and motioning with her finger said, “C’mere, Ronnie!”
I slowly walked towards Mom with a half smile on my face. Okay, so it was a smirk.
“What?” I asked abruptly as I got up close to her.
She looked up at me with her jet black eyes and lightly took my hands in hers. I somehow felt something was coming as my eyes raced around the room looking for one of her famous wooden spoons, fondly referred to as “The Enforcer.”
Nothing happened. No wooden spoon. No nothing, just a warm smile and dead silence. Now I was really getting worried. This was totally out of character for my Mom, Josie.
She moved her hands up to my face and held both my cheeks and kissed me.
“You know,” she started with a smile, “this must look very strange to someone like you who can’t last 60 minutes with a woman, let alone 60 years.”
I stepped back in surprise and said, “Well, touché, Mom! Well said. Very profound. I think I’ll just grab a cup of coffee and head out to the patio. I need a cigarette. You two just carry on. Don’t mind me.”
Dad smiled as I quietly passed walked them on the sofa and out through the sliding glass doors to the patio.
As I sat in the shade of the humid morning air I thought, Maybe, this is how they’ve lasted 60 years? I bet it sure hasn’t hurt.