Six years old full of life and the future, dead in a week. Survived the Great Depression, served in World War 2 and somehow they’ll survive their only son bleeding to death in a week from leukemia. They met dancing. She had always wanted to meet him but they fell out of touch for awhile, each married, then World War 2. They were both starting their second marriage, thrilled to have survived so much yet fearful & focused on now fighting the red menace. Smart, ambitious and connected, she was the charge nurse of OB/GYN at the local hospital. He survived hitchhiking on Ally war planes over 1000 miles in Africa catching up to his squadron after surviving malaria. Kneeling behind the pilot of Ally spotter planes doing loops. He was a glider pilot with the 82nd whose missions included invading Sicily, D-Day & Market Garden. They would work together to move past the loss of their only son. Bled to death in a week with no previous notice of illness. My god they must have been so broken.
They’ll adopt another son within a month. A month. This was always known but it would take decades to understand the significance.
The house was full of love. So much unconditional love. The 3 of us plus Nana and then assorted family & neighbors who were also close friends. Plenty of planned & impromptu gatherings. Trading food, recipes, plants, advice & stories. The amazing stories. It was an idyllic perfect life. Spoiled, doted on, every want & need met even when I had no idea I was interested. Usually exceeded my expectations. The only yucky requirements which had no flexibility was clean your plate & pull weeds from what seemed to be an infinite sized driveway, a thankfully smaller driveway plus from the flower beds. No matter what. No matter how long it took. Still, a perfect idyllic life. Until it wasn’t.