June's a big month, & we're almost halfway through it. Today would have been my folks' 41st anniversary -- their elopement one, that is. They also have a church wedding anniversary (September 21). It really is true how grief moves in ebbs & flows. I recall Mom & Dad's stories of how they met in Jersey City through friends -- Dad used to joke that Mom was anxiously waiting for him as soon as he got off the plane, knowing that mutual friends would be introducing them . . . how they moved all over Jersey City -- from apartment to apartment (Mercer, Summit, Garfield, Virginia aves.), eventually settling into the home I grew up in on Nunda Avenue by Lincoln Park. Such history they have in Jersey City, and I suppose that's why I remain so connected to my birthplace. And I guess that's why Mom can't imagine relocating anywhere else.
Another good reason to love Jersey City? It's where A. & I met. It's where he proposed. It's amazing how one place can have such roots for a family . . . & roots that are so embedded with memories & emotions . . .
Just like this time last summer. A. & I had just arrived home from our bus commute. Mom had called to tell us that Dad wasn't responding . . . she'd called the ambulance. We immediately packed an overnight bag, got into the car & headed up to Bayonne Hospital. We were in the emergency room for hours until they could figure out Dad's status & settle him into a room. Dad was in kidney failure. A. & I thought we'd be sleeping at Mom & Dad's that night only to discover Mom had locked the garage door, and even though we had the garage door opener, it wouldn't open! I didn't have the house keys, so we had to drive back to Parlin. And that's how the rest of our summer went -- back & forth on the NJ Turnpike between Jersey City & Parlin.
A summer to remember.