Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A 50th Anniversary

John has spent some isolated time in the office recently, working on a special project. Every once in a while I hear the strains of some acoustical guitar music coming from the computer speakers.

Next week is a special anniversary for John’s parents – their 50th wedding anniversary. Over the last few months he has been scanning photos from the family photo collection, and putting them together into a slide show, complete with mood music. Originally we thought it would be the highlight of a fancy dinner party at a hotel with friends and family. It is a bit bittersweet that we will only be able share it with John’s Mom and Dad running on our laptop perched on the dinner tray of the rehabilitation facility that is Dad’s current home. And also that John’s mother will only remember some of the events chronicled through the hazy envelope of dementia.

Seeing these old photos, from John’s birth to the ruffled tuxedo of the senior prom, has given me some insight into the circumstances that formed the character of my husband. Take a look at the photo above as an example. Taken in 1970 in the grassy median of downtown Ontario, California, John and his sister Diana performed as the duo “The Now Sound” at a Kiwanis pancake breakfast. My understanding is the sound was pop music, perhaps featuring some Beatles. Obviously the two women in the foreground are grooving to it, big time.

John’s parents were generous, providing music lessons for their children. John’s mother, always looking for a return on an investment, would find gigs – church socials, community events, etc. She even got some paying jobs, at about the same time that Diana lost interest in music, which Mom never forgave her for. But music stayed a part of John’s life, and with an epiphany upon first hearing the rock group Yes, he continues to this day to perfect his craft. Some of my most contented moments are while working in the office, hearing the strums of his guitar in the other room, knowing he is doing something he loves.

So John will share his digital photo album with the family, and the memories will be as special for us as it is for his parents.

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