The Sunday Paper

I love Sundays now that I am retired. During the week I get my daily news briefing online, but on Sundays I spend a leisurely day poring over the New York Times. I even read the Sports section, which I never do during the week. On Sunday, I also scan the obituaries. It’s not that I’m morbidly curious; often they contain words of wisdom from the departed. My favorite line from the 1980’s, one that others have stolen over the years contained the line, “In lieu of flowers, the deceased asks that you vote Democratic in the next election.”  Always, the obituaries pique my interest as I imagine lives lived in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. I think about native New Yorkers who retired to Boca Raton and “Lois” from Michigan who requested that her family post her obituary in the Times. Why was that important to her? Why did her family think it fitting that her request be part of the narrative of her life?

Yesterday’s page contained the story of a recently deceased wife who met her husband “on vacation in Nantucket on August 1, 1960, became engaged on August 7, 1960, and  married on August 27, 1960.” The marriage lasted nearly 57 years. “Isn’t that something?” I said to my husband. When our daughter became engaged at Christmas 22 years ago, after having dated her future husband for only three months, she told us they planned to be married that summer. “Why, you won’t even have known each other for a year before you get married. Are you sure about this?” We were concerned. Imagine if their courtship had been less than a month in length!

Parents worry about their children. That’s what we do. But we have to trust that we have tried our best to make them independent, confident adults. Then, we let them go, just as the parents of the couple of 1960 whose tale was told in yesterday’s Times obituary section, did.


8 thoughts on “The Sunday Paper

  1. Oh my gosh- I love this. Like you I read the obituaries and am often intrigued by the stories. My own parents were engaged on their third date (which was on the fourth day after they met…) and that one worked out well too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that they included the dates in the obit. Sounds like they were proud of their conviction. I have a friend who got engaged within a month – I was surprised but then I found out her parents got engaged after their first date. I guess when you know, you know!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an interesting story. You are right that we have to trust we did the best by our children. I enjoy reading the local newspaper on Sunday. I’m afraid that reading the newspaper is becoming a lost art. Will people take the time to read articles such as these on the Internet?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My mom loved reading the obituaries — I think it is often a unique glimpse into someone’s life. What better way to honor one’s life than learning from it. I laughed out loud at the vote democrat one — many of us might be requesting that in our obits right now. Thank you for a deep read with a bit of levity woven in! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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