Monday, February 21, 2011

Wedding Bells

My brother asked in August 2010, if I could go to the Manhattan office to get a copy of my parent’s marriage certificate. He could not find it at my mom’s house and my mom had no idea where it was. We needed it so we could apply for VA Benefits for my mom. My dad had served in the Navy, during WW2 and filling out the application we needed to submit proof that they were married.
I went to the office and after filling out the form I waited for the clerk to give it to me. As I waited approximately 10-15 minutes my eyes swelled up. I was then called and gave them my credit card and I asked for two copies of my parent’s marriage certificates. As I was folding them to put in my handbag, I looked at them more carefully and tears started to run down my cheeks.
My heart hurt and I thought of the vows they took so many, many years ago. It was on October 25th, 1942.My mom was only 18 and my dad was 21.They were just kids at the time. My father’s brother, my Uncle Benny was a witness and both of their parents attended. I saw that all four came from Russia and Austria . I saw my grandmother’s maiden names, Levitt and Pasternak.
I thought of how life goes by so quickly and that many of us take it for granted. I imagined them as young lovers (or sweethearts) with a whole life ahead of them to look forward to. I then heard them speak their vows:
                               Do you Arthur Elian take Ruth Esther Schnitzer to be your lawful wedded wife.
                                 And Ruth Schnitzer do you take Arthur Elian to be your lawful wedded husband.
                                Will you love, respect and honor. Do you promise to love and cherish her/him in
                                sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse for as long as you both shall live.
                                  “I do, I do”.I now pronounce you husband and wife.
I would love to share all this with my mom when I speak to her later. Yet I will not for I doubt that she has any real memories left of this special day in her life. They have all been wiped away from her. Her mind seems to have become a blank canvas.  My mom has a disease known as Alzheimer’s. Even if she can remember any of it, I choose not to bring to her heart any unnecessary pain. 
So mom and dad, I lift the glass of champagne and make a toast ,to two of the best parents that I could ever ask for, and thank you both for always being there for me no matter what. I will always love you dearly and deeply.
Amen !

1 comment:

  1. My Mom and dad got married in 1941 and my dad was in the navy also in WWII. My mom has dementia and I told her life history on my blog I'm starting yours from oldest to newest so I can read it in the right order as I would suggest readers do with mine. I'm a couple years younger than you. Like your mom, mine liked to read, but she did crafts and sewed too, but she does none of those now. She is in a nursing home. I'll probably tell you more of that later, but I think I'm going to really enjoy and appreciate your blog.