Friday, June 5, 2009

Papa Loved Mama




I'm not sure yet what the title of this post should be. It will have to come to me as I tell the story. I often tell you that I was brought up by Ricky and Lucy Ricardo. That's because they were not dissimilar from that famous TV couple. Daddy, the hot blooded Latin (from Quito , Ecuador) and Mama, the zany red head (and only her hairdresser knew for sure) from the Carolina's. The accents meshed somehow, as did the personalities. Their love and devotion often clashed with their tempers, but it always worked out somehow.

Yes, I'll be the first to admit that while their love carried them all over the world, their spats were never dull and often accompanied them along with their luggage. When the green eyed monster reared his ugly head, the luggage became baggage and the fight would be on. My mother, a beautiful woman, often caught the eye of men and it killed my father, while it simply tickled my mother. I can hear him even now..."that man was looking at you." My mother, smiling at him would simply say, "it's a free world. Looking costs nothing." Glares all around would be the order of the day.

Daddy never talked about himself. He would only talk about Mama and what all she had accomplished in her life, as though she had done it without his help. He would tell about the missions of mercy she often found herself embroiled in, providing medicine in South America for those who could not afford it or were unable to obtain it. Her many acts of kindness and generosity while she and he worked their behinds off in the Valverde Clinic. After losing her in death (of Ovarian Cancer) several years back, we were sure that we would lose him, too. They had rarely spent a night away from each other in over fifty years. We didn't know how this man, who didn't even know how to operate a microwave (but could diagnose a disease often with an exam only) could get along on his own. He refused to move in with any of us, it was just him and his cat.

What we came to call "the Mama Stories" still poured out of him, as though just talking about her brought her close to him. I suppose it does. But we kept urging him to tell us something about himself, and he would haltingly tell us of working in Havana as a Doctor while Batista was still in power, then going to Panama to work, gradually working his way up to the United States. We would be all agog, never having heard these stories before. We came to suspect that he had been hiding his light under Mama's bushel. But in my mind, I could still hear their heated quarrels over minor things, the heated quarrels that made up their life as surely as their love did. If there was some problem that we really didn't want Daddy involved in, I could hear Mama telling us, never mind, let me handle your father. And we knew she could. And would. You see, even I do it...Mama has once again taken over and Daddy is the man standing just behind her, peering over her shoulder. I blame him. He's the one who taught us.

86 comments:

Lib said...

Hi Sandi,
A Great post!
Trying to play catch up , since I had a few extra mins. this a.m.
Hope your having a great wk.
Blessins',Lib

Anya said...

Thanks for sharing,
your
private family story :)
The shots are realy old fashion no fresh colors ...... LOL
Have a nice day :)

Pam said...

What a great post Sandi. I love seeing these photos of your mom and dad. Where all did they as well as your family travel when you grew up?

Sally said...

The title is perfect. Thank you for sharing, Sandi. I love this story. Your parents; remarkable. My dad hid his light under Mama's bushel as well. ((hugs))

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I love the story!

Sarah Laurence said...

You bring back the memories of watching I Love Lucy. Your parents sound so colorful – you paint the picture well with your words.

mihalis-halkida said...

Sandi, what are you doing, I always well. Thanks for your school.
Hello Michalis

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Sounds very much like the dynamics that many relationships are based upon. They spent a lifetime together so you can expect a few fireworks! Nature abhors a vacuum so it was right that your pa talked about your ma after she had gone as the impact must have been so much more pertinent. Great story.

Moannie said...

What a great story beautifully told, I do so love to hear of happy marriages [as I have one myself] but did not have the joy of a mama and papa.

more, please.

Southern Drawl said...

That is the most beautiful, touching post! We live in SC and my dad is also a physician. He is 75 and still practicing. Wow, 99 I'm so impressed. My mom and dad also had a stormy relationship. They were married for 20 years before they divorced. She died in 2007 of breast cancer. They both still loved each other.

Thanks for your visit; I love your blog. We are cat people and I am always amused with your stories. :)

Kat said...

Oh Sandi, what a beautifully written post about your parents. You have a way with words sweet friend! Loved the photos too.

Lee said...

What a wonderful story, Sandi! Thank you so much for sharing this. When you mentioned Batista I had a flash of the violence I saw in the movie Pan's Labyrinth. I wonder what your Dad has to deal with in those times. Have you and the family seen that movie?

Hugs!
Lee

Akelamalu said...

Lovely family memories Sandi, thanks for sharing them. x

Jeni said...

Oh Sandi, I love all your stories but especially those you share about your parents and siblings -the relationships, the love that passed and still passes between all of your family. Just so comforting to read these.

Susan said...

So sweet and romantic. Great parents.

Maggie May said...

Great to hear of a truly happy marriage. Romantic story.

Susie Q said...

They were amazing people, an amazing couple and look at the amazing daughter they raised!
I always love your storues and your family ones really tug at my heart so.

Have a sweet weekend dear lady.

Love,
sue

granny grimble said...

What a lovely story Sandi. I love reading about other people's families, particularly when they are the stuff that 'The Walton's' are based on. My childhood and parents were like that. So much love throughout, and filled with rainbows and kisses.

Jules~ said...

Sandi, it was so good to sit and read a bit more about your family. Thank you for sharing about your parents. With "I Love Lucy" being an all time favorite of mine, I could just imagine the antics and banter that you told about.
I'd love to hear more stories.

Dr.John said...

Interesting. My parents loved each other but fought. My mother , however, was always in control.

CatHerder said...

Great post..brought a tear to my eye!!!!

ancient one said...

I loved Lucy and Desi... your stories really touch the heart... reminds me of my own parents... and my children will probaby say the same about us...but somehow we all stuck it out...

Tara said...

How nice of a story is this! You are a great writer, Sandi!

SandyCarlson said...

Your story teaches me the potential for understanding in a committed, loving relationship. Wonderful piece, Sandi.

San said...

A stunning post, Sandi. I believe you got a double dose of the "ALIVE" gene. Now I know where it came from.

GoneBackSouth said...

Wow, what powerful memories.

p.s. Thanks for commenting on my Dad's blog!

Helena said...

WOnderful post, wonderful writing. And, oh my! You have a book! WOW!!!!!!

My partner worked for a missionary organisation in Ecuador for a few years and he was based in Quito for most of it. I spent all that time worrying about the volcano that dominates any view of the city! He said that, at the top of each newspaper, next to a line about the weather, there was always printed a line about the volcano's status. Brrr!!

CailinMarie said...

Your parents both sound fascinating. I imagine a childhood of rich memories. I think it is interesting how people work and how relationships work (or don't) Sounds like this one worked to the benefit of a lot of people.

Merisi said...

Thank you for sharing another beautiful story about your parent's marriage! I am sure they never had a dull day. ;-)

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

Don't you love it!? That's what marriage should be ... loving, challenging, committed. Thanks for sharing such a rich history.

Love Bears All Things said...

I really enjoyed this post. I'm glad your Dad is hanging on without her. Mine only lived 15 miserable months without Mama.
Mama Bear

jay said...

It's interesting how we never really know our parents until we are adults ourselves, isn't it? And I think having children ourselves adds another dimension of understanding.

I feel cheated that I lost my father before that could happen. I understand more, in retrospect, but I never knew him, adult to adult.

Seamus said...

Wonderfully written Sandi. I find it interesting how one parent will overshadow the other. In my household it was my mom standing behind dad. Fortunately she made it a point to write down what her diaries didn't include or elaborate on.

Sandy Kessler said...

excellent post- life is never dull is it..Mine was somewhat the same - a raTHER DOCILE sWISS- gERMAN AND A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC lITHUANIAN- iTALIAN..HMNN.. i HAVE NONE OF IT HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHH

Karen M said...

Great story and lovely pictures.

Woman in a Window said...

Love this story, that last photo especially and their unusual relationship. A strange one, to be sure, but there is passion there, a book waiting to be written, a movie waiting to be made.

Cathy said...

Hello Sandi
Found you via Gill ( the British Woman) and am facinated by your blog.
So open, engrossing and truthful
Will be back to read more
Take care
Cathy

Beth P. said...

Dearest Sandi--
Your story touched my heart deeply for some reason this morning. Love is so complicated...but compassion is not. It just is. And that's what it feels as if your parents' love evolved into...compassion for each other, the suffering world.

Love your stories, dear heart. So glad we found each other!

How is the new kitty family?

Pondside said...

There are so many ways to write a love story - that was a beautiful one.

Lynn said...

How delightful you are for sharing such a beautiful love story. Thank you.

Pat - Arkansas said...

What a lovely story, Sandi. Thanks for sharing.

Jo Beaufoix said...

That was so beautiful Sandi. They sound like amazing people both apart and together.

Jo Beaufoix said...

That was so beautiful Sandi. They sound like amazing people both apart and together.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh Sandi, this was a fabulous story, terrific story telling and the music playing while I read it made me weepy. This was really wonderful!

NeereAnDear said...

PASSION!! You cant have a good relationship without it....

Great story.... rather reminds me of my dad when he would speak about my mom after she passed...

He is with her now... I miss them both .... LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDS

LOTS OF HUGS
JO

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Ah, such sweet memories. I hope my children will have sweet memories of me and be able to forget any horrible deeds I must have committed from time to time. I love hearing your stories!

Cheffie-Mom said...

Oh, this is one of my favorite posts you've written. I love the photos of your mom and dad. And your music is wonderful!

Nessa said...

Beautiful tribute to your parents.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

A love story lovingly told - thanks for sharing it with us Sandi. A x

♥ Braja said...

Great photos...

Veggie Mom said...

What a sweet, sweet post! Sounds like both of your parents were quite accomplished. And quite interesting that your Dad was the modest one!

david mcmahon said...

Thank you so much for sharing that, Sandi.

Lawstude said...

wow. this is a great tribute to them. i am sure you made them proud.

Carver said...

This was a beautiful post and so well written. You brought your parents alive on the page (or screen).

Shadow said...

thank you for your visit! and i'm glad to have been here. such a wonderful story of long-lasting love...

Sniffles and Smiles said...

This is spectacular!!!! What wonderful writing!!!!! I love this...your parents step off the webpage!!! She was indeed beautiful...and your father? A truly humble and great man!!! And I love the way you circle round in this piece! Thank you for stopping by, leaving a comment and leading me here! It was truly a privilege to read this!!!! And thank you too for your kind and thoughtful words! They mean so very,very much to me! ~Janine XO

Sarah said...

You're a great writer, Sandi. Makes me feel like I really know them...

Wanda said...

What a sweet tribute. I enjoy your blog so much, it saddens me that I don't get the chance to stop by as often as I'd like. I really need to be working right now. Sigh.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Wonderful story, Sandi! Thanks for sharing snippets from your past. We all become our mothers, it seems...often against our will.

Lola said...

Touching tribute, Sandi. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Wonderful story, wonderfully told.

Ciao,
Lola xx

SEO Philippines said...

Your so lucky to have them as your parents.. :)

Cowgirl said...

What an enthralling post, Sandi... how lovely of you to share that special part of your past with us. They must have been a formidable couple - I guess the trick is for each half of the couple to be happy for the other to take on the role they had....

Thanks for your caring comments on mine. I'm getting there. Feel like I have turned a corner, hence my last post. Big Hugs xooxox

♥ Braja said...

Congrats on post of the day at David's blog, Sandi :)

Deb said...

Hi ~ This story hit home for a variety of reasons. I love reading posts which come from the heart and the gut - and this post is both. I hope you wrote down all of the stories that your dad finally shared with you so someday you can tell us his story. Thank you and congrats on POTD !

Beth said...

This is beautiful. Lovely tribute to what sounds like a dynamic couple.

Gaston Studio said...

Oh Sandi, what a lovely story about your wonderful parents! Congrats on POTD!! So well deserved with this post!!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Wonderful tribute! Congratulations on Post of the Day... well deserved!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Oh... the title is perfect!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! This was an absolutely brilliant post!!! I loved it, and I'm so glad you received POTD!! Congratulations!!!! ~Janine XO

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I have been catching up. I so love reading all the stories about your family. Have a great week..m..

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

Hi Sandi...its a lovely post and the way ur have written about ur dad's love for ur mom is so touching... i simply loved ur post and i think the beautiful pictures say a lot of words...
also congrats on being the "Post of the Day" at David's :)

Craig Glenn said...

What a great story Sandi! I loved it. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Congrats on POTD! Well desirved.

Craig Glenn

The Muse said...

Just another proof positive, that I love reading your warm, heart felt work!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Yay, Poat of The Day, congrats hon. :D

Pouty Lips said...

Came by from David's blog. Congrats! This is a beautiful true story, and thanks for sharing it.

Suldog said...

I love old photos like those. So many of them in my own collection are similar - 60's hairstyles and air trips.

San said...

Sandi, I came in search of a new post, but this one was a treat to linger over. Again.

Anya said...

Have a nice great lovely weekend :)
Kareltje =^.^=
Anya :)

Denise said...

How very beautiful ! Just beautiful...

Bronwyn, said...

This is lovely, & what an interesting background you have. :-)

cheshire wife said...

Congratulations on POTD! It is so nice to think that your parents were once young and in love.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Lve missed quite a few of yours recently and l think its cos l deleted my blog list and didnt put you back where you belong...Moannie told me today to go read this post!! so glad al did, remind a wee bit of my own parents journey, globetrotting and together so long...

Miriam's Art Journal said...

this story made me think of my own marriage and how my husband and I always argue about dumb things, sometimes in front of the kids....so we both agreed that when we make up...and we always do make up, it will be in front of the kids.....we say sorry or whatever...but we also do it in front of the kids...

Loved the story.....very sweet memory...

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Outsourcing said...

Good pictures, thanks for sharing it.

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