Yesterday would have been Dad’s 76th birthday and Mother’s Day is right around the corner. The merry month of May, then, seems like the perfect time to talk about the relationship Sherryl had with each of our parents.
¨ Chose Sherryl’s first and middle names, and often called her “Shell-Ann”
¨ Saved a pot in which Sherryl burned something she was cooking as a young teen, named it her “wedding pot,” and intended to give it to her when she was married.
¨ Used to always say, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” an expression Sherryl has used many, many times over the years.
¨ Found a very creative way to reinforce with Sherryl the importance of keeping her room clean.
¨ Always, always, always arrived home from a trip at sea on the same day report cards arrived home from school, which caused “a bit” of stress for Sherryl.
¨ Laughed harder than any other time we’d heard him laugh when Sherryl, perched upon Dad’s lap at age 6, wanted to see Dad’s teeth and asked him to open his mouth. Dad playfully refused and acted as though his mouth was glued shut. The game continued for several minutes. Following numerous unsuccessful attempts to get Dad to open his mouth, Sherryl finally said, “Arleen, go get me a screw driver.” Dad roared laughing affording Sherryl the perfect opportunity to study his pearly whites.
¨ Laughed hard, too, when playing a game of Simon Says with us as little girls. When he said, “Simon Says stand on your head,” his oldest and youngest daughters obediently attempted acrobats involving heads on the carpet and feet in the air. Not Sherryl. Standing on one’s head involved sitting on the carpet and raising one’s foot to the top of one’s head. Literal interpretation, you see. No wonder Sherryl loves Amelia Bedelia books so much!
¨ Panicked within moments of delivering Sherryl because it took the doctor two attempts, not one, to get her newborn baby girl to breathe, leaving a bruise on her tiny hiny that was visible for years.
¨ Fostered Sherryl’s individuality by decorating her bedroom in an outdoor theme: variegated carpet in earth tones, rattan furniture, two interior shingled walls, and a window treatment that involved an awning coming into the bedroom. Tres rustique and very Sherryl.
¨ Always thought Sherryl looked exactly like Dad, the love of her life.
¨ Always knew Sherryl would be the peacemaker in the family.
¨ Hosted many field trips to “Grannie Annie’s house” for Sherryl’s day care, circa 1987.
Although both of our parents have passed, Dad in 1982 and Mom in 1992, Sherryl told us last year that she thinks of them both every single day. The three of us are very close in age, just 13 months apart. Yet, we have very different personalities and personas. We’re like points on a triangle. Just as two points of the triangle are connected by a single line, two of us share similarities with each other we don’t share with the third, and around the triangle we go. We are so fortunate to have had parents who recognized and cultivated our individuality.
We miss Mom and Dad intensely especially around the holidays, still love to reminisce about times we spent with our parents, and value tremendously the legacy they left to us.