“Let’s get married.”
That was the moment she realized he liked her. She told me this story every time someone asked her how she met dad. That they had been friends for years, and he suddenly popped out that question out of the blue.
Dad, being the man with few words he is, would just smile the sweetest smile and looked at her adoringly. I have always loved how Dad look at Mom when she talked. And I have always loved how Mom would respond to him when he wasn’t talking – coffee when he watched football, passing him napkin when he spilled food and saying ‘thank you’ whenever he does something for her without us, the children, realizing that was a favor.
I guess they have long learned how differently they love and weaved their way through each other’s sweet spots.
It has been one year since Mom passed. Dad lost weight. But he is as calm as ever. He spends his time in our homes now. All of us takes turn bringing him to our places. We understand that he can’t bear to stay alone at the house which have kept all of their memories together.
But an amazing discovery happened today. I told my teenage kids the story of how Mom and Dad met. As the kids were giggling, Dad interrupted, “Actually…”
We all turned to him.
“…that was not entirely true.”
He chuckled upon looking at my face. My eyes must’ve wide n two times their size.
“I had hinted her many times, months before that. But your mother, despite her being smart and wise, unfortunately was slow when it comes to flirting. I even asked her out and she laughed cause she thought I was joking.”
My kids burst laughing. “But Dad… You had never corrected her when she told us that.”
She looked so happy when she told that. Every time. At that moment, I swore I saw tears at the corner of his eyes. But he just shrugged as if it was not an important piece of information. My sister squeezed his hand as she puts down his coffee on the table.
It dawned on me. When she was alive, he kept quiet. Now that she is gone, he told us. Both were done out of love.