This year is quite the special time. It is 2015, which is seventy years from 1945, which was the final year of World War II. This year, 2015, is also the seventieth anniversary of many special events. As the men and women who lived through that major historic event are now quite old, even the youngest of them are in their eighties, it is also important to consider the war, given they don’t have much time left.
For me, it is a very special seventieth anniversary. My parents were married in July of 1945 at the city hall of Florence, Italy. My dad is gone now, he passed away in 1989; my mom is still with us. This November, she will turn ninety and I have every confidence she’ll be with us well into the century mark. I consider her a testament to the power of love.
Back in 1945, the world was in chaos, death and destruction was the order of the day. Yet, for my parents, his friends and her family, there was a single moment of love and joy. The wedding was simple, no big ball or fancy clothes, and then the reception followed at the Pauline Bonaparte Palace.
Though a modest affair, it drew the press. My mom and dad were the first American-Italy marriage and, thus, they were news; good news, which was definitely in short supply. They elected to forgo an interview and the MPs kept the press at bay.
My parents spent their honeymoon night at a resort hotel in Florence. My dad’s friends, from his Army unit had passed the hat, as the old saying goes, collected some money and got them the best room in the hotel.
As Kane-Tuck, my dad’s friend from the Deep South had said, “You good man, Robbie, despite being a damn Yankee and we want you to start life off right.”
“Ohhh, complimenting a Yankee,” my dad said smugly. “How did those words taste passing over your lips?”
“Like pure castor oil, but they also happen to be true.”
The men all laughed, but then felt a deep regret; each denied the chance to kiss the bride. My parents went off to the hotel. The next day left for the Riviera.
Divided into zones, the Riviera allowed officers to go one place, NCOs and enlisted another. That way they could have fun without worrying about some superior giving orders. My parents found a nice hotel, got a room and enjoyed themselves. My dad took my mom sailing, they went swimming and they dined well.
It was a good start to their lives together, and now it is part of history. It is seventy years later, seven decades since they began the journey of their lives together. When I spoke to my mother about this most special of anniversaries, we both choked up. Despite the passage of time, despite him being gone for so many years, the love of that special day still burns bright.
I look forward to sharing the eightieth anniversary with her.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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