Saturday, November 19, 2011

What They Never Tell You

I just had this overwhelming wave of sadness.

I miss my parents intensely at times. This is one of them and it was the realization that I won't hear their voices again.

They both had wonderful voices. My mother was swedish and had a beautiful lyrical sound to her voice. She was unintentionally hilarious.

She said things like, "Let's stop and get a Yumbo Yack." You know.... Yack-in-the-Box?

"Oh look! They're having a Yanuary Sale at NeimanandMarcus!" She would slur the name of the retail store together, never pausing to read that there is no "and" in it.

My SIL has a favorite story/memory of Mother trying hopelessly to express her desire to get the leftover spaghetti sauce either into or out of "the YAR!' the YAR!!!!!" neman!!!

She had this infuriating habit of asking someone to hand her the___fill in the blank__________ by waving her finger in some general direction...but never actually sounding the word of the desired object in question. I was remarkable in the family for my ability to read her mind and know exactly what she wanted but my sister would stand there and finally say, "I need a noun. Can you give me a noun, .......a clue .... anything!" This would then launch an argument. Every time.

Mother had no end of admirers either, concerning this accent of hers. People would ask her where she was from and she would answer, in this Swedish accent, "East Texas".

There is something about the italian language that makes me swoon..... it flows and slows and then rushes forward like a running stream and I just love it! My father was Italian and made everything he said sound like music. Especially when he got hot under the collar. Then he'd let fly with the italian and all heck would let loose. It was a rich firm strong awesome voice and I'd just sit there and listen to the song of it all. It's a real shame he didn't sing.

It was also great fun to be an adult and in his presence because he loved a good joke and told them like a professional. Then we'd die laughing together. We watched back to back to back episodes of Fawlty Towers and would collapse in tears, looking at and keeling over at the sight of the other.

Lord I miss them both. People who talk about death tell you that, yeah, you miss the person terribly but they don't warn you about the specifics of what you'll miss. So when the realization finally hits, it's a sucker-punch.

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