Elvis and Marilyn

My parents met and fell in love in the late 1950’s. They married young, as their generation tended to do and statistically speaking shouldn’t have lasted more than a year. My dad was 20, my mom 19. He was a practicing Protestant, she was a lapsed Catholic. He was from an intact family, she was a product of divorce. But she thought he looked like Elvis Presley and he thought she looked like Marilyn Monroe, so really, what else did they need? Over the years they somehow managed to remain that rare breed of married couples who not only loved each other, they adored each other. They looked at each other the way Priscilla looked at Elvis, Joe looked at Marilyn, Nancy looked at Ron and Ron looked at Nancy. My dad embraced all my mom’s eccentricities. He knew that Elvis was his competition but he also knew that if push came to shove, Elvis didn’t hold a candle to him in my mom’s eyes. Besides, what were the chances of her ever meeting Elvis, as he used to say? On March 9, 2001 the day before my mom’s 61st birthday, my dad died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack. About a week later, I was checking in on my mom and I asked her how she was doing. This was her heartbreaking response, “A few weeks ago your father and I were talking about how we probably had twenty good years left. We both looked at each other and said, that’s just not enough time. And now, twenty years seems like an eternity.” My mom and dad didn’t have a perfect marriage or a perfect life but they did have a perfect love. All in all, I guess you could say he was her Elvis and she was his Marilyn.

~~ A picture of my mom and dpost2ad found in my dad’s wallet the day he died, hence the fold marks. My mom never knew he carried it with him throughout their 41 year marriage.