It had to have been twenty-five years since all three of us were in the same room.
What unfolded was a living moment of the memory I loved the most, a rare one of childhood being happy, almost like the families I saw in picture books at the library
It was when the whole family was home at the same time, probably a Sunday afternoon. Florence would be practicing in the other room, billions of music molecules building her cocoon from family life.
The three of us would gather around the Formica folding and extending kitchen table, before us that special maybe once-a-week but probably more like once-a-month bowl of ice milk and potato chips.
Then Dad would start telling jokes and jokes and jokes, as many as the notes pouring out of Florence's fingers. And we would laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. Belly grabbing, tears pouring out of our little girl eyes, nose snorting, almost peeing but refusing to go because no one wanted to break the spell with a bathroom break, full-out laughing.
I wanted those jokes and that ice cream to last forever. Like the magical replenishing bowl I once read in a fairytale, I wanted that fun and joy to never end.
At some point Florence would appear in the kitchen door reminding us it was our turn to practice.
Just a couple of days ago, the crisis of care needing to be brought into this place he now calls home, we sat together briefly, less than two hours. He may not have remembered who had visited him just that morning or if the physical therapist was coming the next day. But within minutes of us sitting down, just us three, jokes and jokes and jokes poured out and my sister and I, like little girls, laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.
It Was His California
Sunday Memories: The First Home
Sunday Memories: A Winter Coat
Sunday Memories: A Tale Of Two Brothers
His New York His California His Home: Part One
His New York His California His Home: Part Two-"One Step At A Time Dammit"