Celebrating May in a different way


May is a difficult month in my one-person household.

Mother’s Day just passed.

More than 60 years ago, my late parents said “I do” this month.

Then you have Memorial Day weekend — the precursor to summer.

These three days were grand celebrations while growing up.

You didn’t dare plan anything for Mother’s Day.

That was HER day.

Dad always grilled something really good.

My brother and I tried to out-do each other on the bouquet of white roses — mom’s favorite.

And all three of us – dad, Rocky and I – would chip in to buy mom a special piece of jewelry. Dad, on many occasions, usually snuck something extra into the box.

Before their teen years ended, mom and dad tied the knot.

Rocky came along in 1960.

I was hatched, as dad tells the story, in 1967.

My parents’ anniversary was always fun.

Again, gifts and grilling were the norm for that day. If their anniversary fell on a weekday, we’d celebrate it either the weekend before or after.

Now that mom and dad are gone, I light a candle in front of a double-photo frame that holds pictures of them while in their youth. I’m gonna tell ya, they were a dog-gone good-looking couple.

Memorial Day always had a different kind of feel.

Another grill day, of course.

Rocky and dad always watched the NASCAR race. I remember they both fell asleep many times due to full bellies from a hearty lunch.

Mom would lay back in the recliner, grab her glasses and work on her word search book for a while. She, too, fell asleep on occasion.

In my youth, I’d play outside and bring just about every grain of dirt into the house when it was bath time.

As I got older and less fidgety, I managed to watch the race with Rocky and dad. Yes, I fell asleep, too.

Now that I’m by myself, I still try to celebrate their lives.

I’ll have lunch at mom and dad’s favorite restaurant on Mother’s Day and on their anniversary. The last couple of Memorial Day weekends, I’ve spent time with one of my cousins who has become like a sister to me since mom and dad both passed away in 2018.

I’d give anything to have one more celebration with mom, dad and Rocky.

I can smell either the steak or chicken sizzling on the grill now.

I can hear their laughter, see their smiles and feel their hugs.

That, in itself, is worth celebrating.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at rcoggins@mountolivetribune.com.


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