On their first date, our Dad met our Mom in Newport, RI. It was 1951; he was a freshly minted naval officer, just graduated from the US Naval Academy. He was attending a course on the then new uniform military justice statutes at the Navy’s law school in Newport. They met in the parking lot outside of the officer’s club. Jackie asked, “Is there dancing going on in the officer’s club tonight?” She knew that there was. They ended up dancing together until 11:30 or so. Mom had her parent’s car. Afterwards they went out for a hamburger. She said that she would just have a bite of his. Afterwards he wondered if he would have been better off with the bite instead of the hamburger.
His invitation to a second date started out with an exclamation that he was playing golf the next day. He followed up this statement with a question, “Do you play golf?” She answered, “I don’t play, but I’ll walk around with you.” They made plans for John to pick Jackie up outside of St. Patrick’s church. Dad ran late, about an hour, but Mom was there even though she was about ready to leave. Of course, this is our Dad’s side of their stories.
The rest is history. Our mother and father have been married for 58 years. They raised three children, my two brothers and I. Our Mom is 84 years old. She was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 1989. Twenty-one years and several bouts of cancer later she is relatively cancer free, but the cancer and time has taken its toll. The main reason that I visited Monterey was to see our mother. She is very ill. Her hospice nurse visited her on the Friday afternoon that I arrived. I escorted the nurse up from the driveway to our Mom’s bedroom. Just before she went to work the nurse remarked about the beautiful view, the beautiful house and how lucky we were.
The nurse was right. Earlier, our Dad had expressed the same sentiment. They have both been blessed with long life that has been free from want. They have a lovely home and love each other dearly. Our Mom managed to visit 45 countries, on six continents. Our Dad joined the Navy, our Mom saw the world!