Sunrise sunset

Created by Michael 3 years ago
     I believe it was the summer of 1968 when I was dating my future wife Margaret that I first heard mention of a girl her brother was serious about, a girl from England. When she came to the states in 1969 the four of us spent many days together as new couples,especially during that summer. It was the summer of the moon walk and the Manson murders. It was also the summer when I volunteered to take Brenda out in the car so she could practice before her driving test.
    We drove down a residential street and she was to make a left turn onto a fairly busy street. She made the left, but instead of turning onto the right side of the street she made a direct turn on the left side, as they do in England. We ,of course, drove directly in front of oncoming traffic so I grabbed the steering wheel and we avoided the collision by going into a ditch. I can't remember her reaction today but I assume it was something to the effect "o my, I am terribly sorry". To my surprise she did get her drivers license although I have no memory whether it was on the first try. 
    We spent 50 years together during Christmas, missing only one year. In the beginning it was the four of us along with Kelly and Margaret's parents. Then the children began to join us, the parents left us and our holidays followed the same script year after year. Our children had children and each year just like the years before, the days took on a familiarity despite the change in characters.  The skits often led by Brenda, the games of charade often won by Brenda and for the first 30 years Brenda always grading papers, always grading papers.Later at night while watching TV, we could always count on Brenda to fall asleep within a half hour of the show starting. Another  true constant was that Brenda would change her hair style and color each year .Often waiting at the airport for her to arrive, we would anticipate the change in appearance.  My holiday conversations with her also picked up right where we left it with a year of pause in between. Our talks often occurred in the morning before the others arose. She would come into the kitchen where I would be reading , put on the kettle and wait for the water to boil for her tea. We would often talk during this time, often about our respective spouses, the Tipps kids.We would laugh about some of the things Margaret and Kelly had in common, such as the both of us always waiting for them as they would do last minute things while we would be standing by the door. Sometimes we didn't need to say anything. We would just look at each other and nod.
     We knew that our time with Brenda was probably going to be shorter than would otherwise be the case so the four of us planned to go to Hilton Head in March before the inevitable disease would again appear, Of course those plans were cancelled due to Covid.  So there are regrets but we had so much for half a century to be thankful it's hard to feel cheated. Goodbye to my sister-in-law, my compatriot and my friend. Your  intelligence and your kindness will be sorely missed, especially when December comes  and the conversation will not be completed.