Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Happy Anniversary September 1st!

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 by Lisa Ricard Claro   14 Comments | Posted in anniversary · daddy · mama · september

The post below is a repeat of the posting for September 1st 2009.  I’ve changed a couple of things to accommodate the passing of another year, but otherwise this is a re-run. It remains relevant for me, so I’d like to request your indulgence on the repeat, just this once.  Thanks.

Once upon a time and long ago, on the 1st of September, there was a restaurant and lounge in Merrimack, New Hampshire called The Village Squire. Mama and Daddy took me there for dinner—our standing Friday night date—and we three made a pact: no matter where the years might lead us, September 1st would be our anniversary. We would meet for dinner every September 1st, we promised, no matter what. I still have the red matchbook bearing the restaurant logo. When I flip the cover I see the date, written in the sloping cursive of my 17-year-old self: September 1, 1978.

This, the 1st of September 2010, marks the 32nd anniversary of that dinner. I wish I could remember details about that night, but in typical teenage fashion I took for granted the hours spent. If I could live it again I would take photos and write a detailed journal; I would make note of the menu and the waiter’s name and the topics of conversation. I would memorize every sound, color, and scent; every bit of laughter and nuance of conversation. I would savor those things which, in my youth, I could not imagine ever being without.

I remember snippets, such as Daddy wearing a tweed sport coat and Mama’s charm bracelet jangling. Daddy drank a vodka martini with extra olives and Mama ordered scotch and water on the rocks (with a lemon twist). Before dinner drinks were sipped, not slurped, and dinner—seafood, I think—lasted for a couple of hours, not a couple of minutes. There were white linen tablecloths and I sat next to Mama in the booth with Daddy across from us. It sounds formal, but it was very casual, and we were silly and laughed a lot. I had just graduated from high school the June before, so I imagine we discussed my plans to attend the University of Las Vegas in the spring. Daddy was a philosopher at heart, so the conversation may have veered toward lofty things. God help me, I cannot remember. I want so much to remember.

Subsequent Septembers came and went, and for a few years we celebrated on the first day of the month to honor our pledge. But our pact gave way to life—marriage and babies and moves and illness and death. Before Mama and Daddy died we rarely forgot our special day and, over the telephone and the separation of a thousand miles, we would share a glass of wine to commemorate that first dinner.

I pray that right now my parents are together holding hands on a heavenly beach, watching over me and calling out, “Happy anniversary, Snowflake!” And in their honor I lift my wine glass and say, “Happy September 1st to the best parents God created. I will love you forever and miss you always, and I hope I’ve made you proud.”


14 Responses to "Happy Anniversary September 1st!"

  1. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    September 1, 2010 at 8:49 am  

    Lisa,What a wonderful tribute to your parents, and a superb tradition. Almost everyone sets aside traditional holidays to get together, but wouldn't the world be nicer if each of us chose our own special day, our own private holiday to connect to loved ones? Introduce this concept to a card company.

  2. Comment by Carrie
    September 1, 2010 at 9:44 am  

    Happy September 1st Lisa! Thanks for reposting this. It's very sweet:-)

  3. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    September 1, 2010 at 11:26 am  

    Still as good the second time around.P.S. Catching up to say Woof! to Special Agent McGee (Love that name!) and that I haven't gotten around to Water for Elephants, either-but I immensely enjoyed Grace, Eventually and Life of Pi (that Linda mentioned, I think). Like Anita, if you recommend WFE, I'll read it.Hmmm. I'll probably be #580gazillion on the GCPL list:-)

  4. Comment by Karen Lange
    September 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm  

    How sweet! Thanks for sharing this special tribute and memory with us. I wasn't following you last September, so this is new for me. Glad you shared it again.

  5. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    September 1, 2010 at 3:40 pm  

    Hi Linda – Hmmm….not a bad pitch idea. It really was nice having our very own day! It really could work for Hallmark!

  6. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    September 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm  

    Hi Carrie — Thanks. My parents would have liked it, although Mama probably would complain that she doesn't like the pics I picked! 🙂

  7. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    September 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm  

    Hi Cathy – My reading list keeps growing, too. I love it when that happens.

  8. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    September 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm  

    Hi Karen – Thanks. It was self-indulgent of me, but I couldn't help it. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  9. Comment by Lynn
    September 2, 2010 at 7:46 am  

    How sweet – what a nice memory (it's okay that you can't remember it all) it's still a beautiful one at that! You're very lucky. And no doubt you've made them proud.

  10. Comment by Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
    September 2, 2010 at 10:51 am  

    Wow, Lisa, you make me cry. You write so beautifully, as you capture the spirit of the first and the rest of your September anniversaries with your Mom and Dad. I am so sorry that both of your parents are now gone, but am happy that you have such wonderful memories of them.I know that they are still very proud of you, as they always have been.Kathy

  11. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    September 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm  

    Thanks Lynn! I hope so.Aw, Kathy…I hope you didn't really, cry. I'll make sure my next post is something goofy so I you'll chuckle next time. Thanks for the kind words, my "blend"! 🙂

  12. Comment by K9friend
    September 3, 2010 at 8:37 am  

    What a sweet a beautiful post. There are some things that will remain forever imprinted on our hearts.

  13. Comment by BECKY
    September 5, 2010 at 12:40 am  

    Lisa, I believe you did make Kathy cry, because I had tears in my eyes, as well. What a beautiful tradition and the way you write about it is so touching. Both my parents are gone,too, so that is most likely one of the reasons this touched me so. But also because your parents stayed together, had a happy marriage and had a wonderful daughter they named Lisa…who by some wild, fate-traveling-through-the-blogesphere became a dear friend to me!

  14. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    September 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm  

    Hi Pat – Thanks. You are right!Hi Becky – Serendipity comes in many ways! Your friendship is proof of a kind universe.

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