I think about my mom and dad. A lot. I remember my dad bringing home flowers to my mom often. I remember them taking trips away from me and my brother, not very often, but when they could in order to have time alone together. I remember my dad always surprising my mom on their anniversary. I remember the light in my dad’s eyes when they would look at each other across a dinner table. I remember the sparkle in my mom’s eyes and smile on her face when she would kiss him and touch his beard. I remember seeing them both cry out of love on multiple occasions.
In fact, when I think about it, the only times I have ever seen my dad cry were in relation to my mom. I remember how loving and romantic they were with each other. It was a rare sight; seeing two people who really do complete each other. Two people that love and perfect timing had brought together. Two people who were destined to fall asleep next to each other every night and to find them there every morning when the sun splashes in through the blinds.
My dad still talks about how they met and how he won my mom over. They were working at the same place. My dad always mentions her eyes. My mom’s eyes were the purest blue I had ever seen. They were the kind of eyes that if she was angry at you, her glare was the equivalent of someone pulling a gun on you. If she gave you a loving look it was the equivalent of feeling like you had just found the only sanctuary in the world.
My mom was living with a mutual friend at the time.
“So tell me what does Donna like? What does she like to do? What is she interested in?”
“Forget it man. You’ll never get her. Just stop right there. You will never get her. You aren’t her type.”
Well, there is something to be said about the game of pursuit. I remember one day my mom telling me how romantic my dad was when he was courting her and I could see her replaying the fond memories in her mind.
And when I was 19, in the grey month of January, my mom passed away after a grueling battle with breast cancer. I worked at a record store at the time. I remember the phone ringing. I remember reaching for it. I remember pushing the talk button.
“Hello, Go Boy Records.”
It was the breaking voice of my dad. I don’t remember how I got home.
I opened the front door.
I remember the tears in my dad’s large, soft eyes.
There were a lot of people there. Their faces and voices all a blur now.
I remember my brother pulling me into a room and hugging me, each one of us collapsing into each other.
I remember the house we lived in afterwards. Every night I could hear my dad falling asleep to the sound of someone singing from his compact disc player. He had never done that before.
My mom was raised in Louisiana. Her wish was for her ashes to be brought back to Church Point, LA and scattered on the farm where she grew up. I remember my dad untying the bag. I remember my dad pouring the ashes out into the wind. I remember him wearing dark sunglasses. I remember the sounds of relatives sobbing. And then, as if on cue, it started to rain. My dad spoke.
“She doesn’t want us out here crying.”
It was true. My mom had rained us out of the field.
I think about my mom and dad. A lot. I believe in true love. There is no doubt in my mind that if my mom was still alive her and my dad would still be together. Just as loving. Just as romantic. My dad still with the light in his eyes and my mom still with the sparkle in hers. Maybe I'm naive. But I believe in true love.
Freddy Ruppert is one third of Former Ghosts, along with Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart,
and Zola Jesus. Their album Fleurs is out now on Upset the Rhythm.