What we called the “Mama Memorial”, and later, the “Grandma Memorial” was made years ago on a similarly blustery winter day.
It was one of those days when the sky touches just over the top of the neighbor’s bushes, snow falling in a rain-steady way, occasionally being lifted up by cold gusts of daring wind. A day to stay inside, except if a person was a prompt and punctual and adhered to schedules.
“Alice, I have physical therapy in half an hour, we should really leave….” My father started.
“Just call and cancel. Only a fool would go out in this weather.”
“The doctor ordered PT and for this leg to heal correctly, I really should go.”
“You’re a doctor, you can figure out what you should be doing.”
“Yes, well, you know, ‘The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.’”
“I can’t argue with that.” And mama got up to get ready to drive to PT.
The bleakness had given way to blizzard and mama, pressured by the good doctor wanting to please his physician, pressed the car to greater speed.
“It’s so rude to be late.”
Mama accelerated too much while taking a corner and the car slid sideways. She let the car try to right itself but the granite curbs that the town had put in a few months before, the fine granite curbs that were touted in the paper as “curbs that would last one hundred years”, came up and clutched at the car. It hooked the car and my father fretted.
Mama stormed at the car, the blizzard, and my father. Her mood pulled that car off the curb and even dragged a triangle of granite out into the street, forlorn.
They pulled into the physical therapist’s empty parking lot. My mother went up to the darkened door – it was locked.
“At least they’re not fools.”
So it is with great sadness that I report that the town replaced those “hundred year granite curbs” with new granite curbs guaranteed to last a hundred more years – weather and angry mothers permitting.