Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dad's Letter to Mom

Read by my brother-in-law, Jim Estes, at Mom's memorial service.

Dear Marilyn,

Well here we are answering the question “which one of us will die first?” And true to form, you won the argument so now, I have to stand up here and tell all of these people all about you and us.

Many people here didn’t know you when you were young so I have to give them a peek.

We met in November of 1958 on a blind date. You however were not my date. I had just finished basic training at Fort Knox. A guy I met there was engaged to your good friend. We came in town and dropped by his girl friends house to pick her up. You were there also and I figured you were my date. Not so. You were there waiting for your blind date. Bummer. You were beautiful. And I believe we clicked then. We actually didn’t have a date until several months later. You were tall with thin shapely legs in spike heels, and a gorgeous smile.

Finally a group of 5 or 6 couples assembled and we went to the old KT’s. You and I ignored our dates and had eyes only for each other. We ended the evening at Blue Cottage Inn where the Bristol is now.

Our first date was in the Spring of 1959, I wore a seersucker suit. You loved it. We went to a movie on 4th Street. After that you took me to the overlook on Iroquois Hill. Well we married a year later on September 3rd, 1960. We were, I believe the happiest couple in the world.

Then came the kids. Camille first then Anne. Our first house and your entry into local politics. Our 6th class city had its first female councilwoman. At your first meeting the mayor asked you if you “was one of those bra burners”. You said to him, “If I had one on I’d burn it how if that would excite you”.

Then the first of the hard times. Heart disease. Your first open heart surgery. A few months later they had to do it again. And finally, a few years later, a third open heart. You never really recovered. Next came the MS diagnosis. Diabetes followed. You struggled so hard to survive. Your goal was to see the kids grow up, then marry. Then grandchildren. You saw all of that.

Finally our 50th wedding anniversary. Our 52nd would have been next month, September 3rd.
Fifty-two years of fun and struggle. We had a great life together. Those memories will sustain me in the month’s to come.

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