Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Perfect Marriage

Today is my parent's wedding anniversary. If both were still alive, would be celebrating their sixty fifth year together.

I feel so lucky to at least still have all these pictures, in fact still have their wedding album where these are kept...along with the boutonniere she gave him.

My mother filled out every page of the album, all the wedding gifts she received and who gave them. There's a scrap book section at the back and trust me, she had that filled as well.

I absolutely love still having their wedding invitation as well, especially since I now have a daughter we named Massey Ann Cotton, almost twenty two years ago.

My Diddy looks pretty stoked about heading for their honeymoon in this picture as they left the reception.

Seems they didn't make it all the way to their destination of Daytona that evening. Here's the receipt from their wedding night, eighty two miles south of Atlanta.

They made it the next day, seemingly after creating our oldest sister the night before.

Mama even saved the flier from the movie they went to while on their honeymoon.

They remained married for twenty five wonderful years.

They had the perfect marriage. They were the perfect parents. We had the perfect childhood.

I absolutely love the above picture, taken with my sister's Swinger Polaroid camera in our kitchen on 2545 Bayard Street.

Funny story. Our parents never fought, never argued. The closest they ever came to an even heated change of words was one night when he'd worked late and came home to find out we'd eaten all the dinner mama cooked. He decided to just make a sandwich instead and went to get two slices of loaf (Colonial white) bread. We were out of bread.

Mama didn't act too concerned about it so Diddy commented, "You never seem to run out of cigarettes." Mama didn't miss a beat but calmly replied "If I smoked bread we'd never run out of bread."

Classic Ann Leach!!

The memories I have of growing up with those two as parents are as priceless as the memories I've made, having the above two as the Sib's they gave me.

Our mama died when I had just turned seventeen. Our Diddy died when he just turned seventy seven.

Both deaths were devastating. Both deaths were defining moments in my life.

Case in point, when my daughter was born.

It seemed only appropriate to name my daughter after my mother. Massey was actually due on October 5th and couldn't believe my luck...that had been my mother's birthday! Also as luck would have it,  had major complications and ended up having an emergency C-section on August 19th in the early morning hours after an ambulance ride to the hospital. Massey barely weighed four pounds.We both almost didn't make it, but did. My sister was in the waiting room with my husband and the rest of our family when she suddenly noticed the date... it was August 19th.

That was the date our own mother had unexpectedly and suddenly died.. August 19th in 1977.

Talk about coming full circle.

Massey flourished and has grown into a pretty amazing young woman.

She's my best friend. I still have Ann Massey with me in life, she's just Massey Ann now.

Life is the one journey you need to make the most of, and enjoy every step and every turn of the way.

Looking back over my life, with all the twists and turns have realized (sometimes in hindsight) how truly lucky I've always been.

Life is what you make it...embrace it while you can. It doesn't come with do overs.

Happy Anniversary to my parents, Frank and Ann Leach.

Thank you for teaching me how to be a good person... I hope to make you proud.

Til next time...COTTON

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