A strong sweep of emotion rushes over me when this picture appears. There I am, a 20-year-old, home for a visit with my beloved parents. It is the summer of 1942. I am delighted to be “home”, and it shows. Being in this house with those I love is a great tonic for me.
Unbelievably, that is 72 years ago. I remember, and feel again, many of the same emotions which stirred my 20 year-old heart then. But something is different. What added emotion am I sensing from my 92-year-old reality? Gratitude! That’s it!
Then, I took it all for granted. I was as sure of my welcome when I came home in trouble, as when I came home celebrating a success. My parents were loving and full of fun, but level headed and direct. I did not always like their advice, but always respected it. What a priceless gift life handed me – a home, a dependable home. It was a comfortable, safe touchstone, always there, always within my reach.
Did I recognize it then? Not fully.
Did I ever express it to them? In words, probably not. Hopefully, they knew. I believe that the actions and attitude of my sister and me made that clear to them.
Still, sometimes I regretfully wonder. There is a saying: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” It’s a mite late, Mom and Dad, but here’s your present. I deliver it with much love, gratitude — and memories, which never die. Love, Marjorie