My 81-year-old mother suffered a massive heart attack at age 61, but recovered well enough that she later went back to junior college and graduated with a degree in dance at 72. Nevertheless, she is, now and forever, a “heart patient,” which means that when she awoke Thursday night with chest pains, my father immediately drove her to the hospital where she was admitted and spent the next day and a half. Thankfully, it was a false alarm; Mom is now back home and doing fine.

My husband, the kids, and I drove down from San Francisco on Saturday; my sisters and brother had already assembled at my parents’ place. Last night we all had dinner. My mother sat at her usual spot at one end of the table; my father sat at the other. In two weeks, my parents will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary, and last night as I watched them interact I thought about the fact that they’ve sat across from each other at the table for 57 years. That’s a long time. I cannot imagine either one of them living without the other. My mother has told me she enjoys no one’s company as much as she enjoys my father’s. When Dad called to tell me about Mom’s recent episode, his voice broke as he said, “She’s the only girlfriend I’ve ever had.”

As health scares do, the event made everything else in our lives recede and seem less important. We always hold our loved ones close. Today we hold them a little closer.


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8 Responses to “Perspective”

  1. wow. what a blessing your parents are and you mother is one incredible lady.

  2. Jessica says:

    You’re so right, Kelly. I’m very lucky.

  3. Sue Sullivan says:

    I am glad to hear your mom is doing fine. I teared up reading your post. What a love story.

  4. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the nice comment, Sue. My parents really do share an incredible bond, which I also find very moving. Thanks again.

  5. christine says:

    I’m so happy your mom is ok. She is one dynamic lady. Steve and I want to be just like your mom and dad one day reaching nearly 60 years of marriage.

  6. Jessica says:

    Christine, I wish that for you and Steve, too. A very beautiful thing. Thanks for the nice words about my mom.

  7. Mark McC says:

    Sorry I missed this entry! I hope your mother is doing better, and that your parents will continue to enjoy each other’s company for many years to come!

  8. Jessica says:

    She’s feeling much better, Mark, thank you. She and my dad seem to take these scares much better than we do! We’re all hoping for many more years.

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