My mother was number 2 in her graduating class in Denmark and had aspired to become a dentist. She was accepted at the University and had passed all of the necessary requirements to enter in the fall.
Every other Saturday during the summer months, she and her best friend Else(who had been number 1 in the class and aspiring to become a doctor) would meet in town and spend the day together shopping and just being together. They’d gone to a Konditeri(a combination bakery/coffee shop) for a midmorning cup of coffee and something to eat. As they were waiting for their order, Else introduced my mother to the two young men ahead of them…friends of her older brother.
The four of them ended up sharing one of the tables and spent much of the morning together. Before the men left, the one asked my mother for her phone number and said that he would call that week.
My mother told me how excited she had been because he was “so handsome and looked like Frank Sinatra”. At that time he was fulfilling his requirement in Denmark of being in the service…he was 6 years older than she was.
My mother said the week crawled by…no phone calls. By the time the second week passed and still no phone call, she became resigned to the fact that he never meant to call.
That Saturday, she and Else went to town again and as they were walking towards the Konditeri, my mother sees the young man from two weeks prior…looking very ill, much thinner and very agitated. He ran up to her, apologizing profusely that he haden’t called. He apparently had had an emergency appendicitis operation the same weekend that they met and the paper with her name and phone number had gotten lost…he remembered her first name but not her last name.
That young man was my father…and my mother never went on to dental school. Instead, she went on to business college and got her degree there. My father finished his time in the service and went to work at a famous lumber company and eventually became head supervisor.
They married three years later when she was just shy of being 21 and Dad was 26 and celebrated 64 years of marriage before Dad passed.
I know Mom’s life would have taken a completely different direction had she pursued Dental school…and if Dad haden’t pursued her. They both worked hard with the bakery and although we weren’t wealthy, I always knew that my parents loved each other and us kids. They always kept their individual interests alive and we always did things as a family on the weekend(Saturday night we always went out for a meal…inexpensive but we went out. Sunday was always the afternoon drive and an ice cream cone somewhere…I must admit, I loved the rides when I was smaller but when I became a teen, they were painful!)
They had their special names for each other and when they were retired and had more time, they would take walks and always held hands. They had the kind of marriage I’d hope for myself…but as I’ve found out, every marriage/relationship is different because we are all so different.
My father was not the type of man who gave flowers. He’d get my mother a large red heart box of chocolates on Valentines Day and I would always get a small one(even in my 20s he’d get me a small one 🙂 ). One year he brought home a single red rose along with the chocolates for my mother…that was the year she was overcome with tears.
To my Mom and Dad…my forever Valentines…
til next time…Eva