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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Tiny Love Stories: ‘Who was I to deprive him of happiness?’

“Complicated things break,” I warned my husband five years ago as he looked at the plumbing store’s touch-free toilet. “There’s an electromagnetic field,” he said, smiling like a 10-year-old eating a birthday cake. “Just move your hand to flush.” Who was I to deprive him of happiness by insisting on an old-fashioned garbage disposal system? Of course, Lemon flushes hard, and our replacement is stalled by pandemic supply chain problems. For now, I wave my hand like a frenzied magician looking for a receptive space. I’m in my “I told you so.” Marriage is also a complicated thing. – Sharon Foreman

For three decades, Joe Ann and I spent Friday afternoons walking around Minnesota’s Winona Lake. We went through caring for daughters (and sometimes their fathers), through pregnancies and abortions, homeopathy school and university stints, through weight watchers and evolved wardrobes. And, in those 24 years, we walked in with Joe Ann’s breast cancer. Despite her illness, we planned trips, birthday parties, Passover Seders, bat mitzvahs, and a daughter’s wedding. In June 2020, we took our last walk around the lake. This February, Joe Ann breathed his last. My life will never be the same. – Colette Hyman

My man said with a laugh, “I was wondering when you’d say that.” “It” has always been, “God, we are so lucky.” I rarely know when it will fall: Late winter at Forest Beach in Chatham. Walking through my grandmother’s apartment on Mulberry Street in Chinatown. Minutes after seeing Dylan at the Beacon Theater. I can’t remember a Paris cafe in an amphitheater. And over coffee this morning as we complete 16 years of traveling to Jiangxi Province, where our daughter first nestled in my arms. Now, she is a strong young woman. Lord, we are so lucky. – carol young

Hugs, kisses, compliments don’t come easily to us. Our family has a hard, untold love. So how do three daughters tell a dying mother how much we love her? She was turning 92. A Google search revealed that Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Grace and Anne Frank were born the same year as mothers. On a card with their pictures, we wrote: “1929 was a great year to produce some beautiful, inspiring, strong and classy women… we are proud to have one of them ours!” A few days after our birthday, our mother passed away peacefully. We expressed our love without embarrassing him. – Indu Balachandran

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