I have known for a really long time that it is important to listen to the stories of our family members. I have known it, but haven't taken it seriously. Because of that, many stories are lost. Yesterday I had the chance to spend some time with my only living aunt. She will turn 86 next month. It is time that I get her stories. Well, actually it is past time, but I will gather what I can while I can.
Here's one from yesterday:
Aunt Reita started dating my uncle when she was 14, almost 15. He was three years older and very handsome! She had a crush on him, but he was dating her best friend. They would go on double dates, so she knew how much fun he was. Her parents knew him and liked him because he was always around with that group of four. Aunt Reita always starts this story with: "When you dated Parky, you didn't date anyone else. NO ONE!" That was alright with her. But, he was dating her friend.
One Friday night Reita went to her usual job of babysitting. Her friend told her that she had a date with another guy she had been wanting to go out with...a neighbor. Aunt Reita told her, "That's okay. I'm baby sitting and will be busy."
Parky was the type that would just show up and hang out. You never knew for sure when he would appear. That Friday night Parky decided to stop by and see his girlfriend. Her mom came to the door and said, "She's not here." The mom wouldn't tell Parky where she was! So he went to see Aunt Reita. The girls were very close and she would know where his girlfriend was.
He pulled up to the house where Reita was watching the children. He came to the door and asked where her friend was. Aunt Reita said she didn't know. He kept asking, she kept denying knowing anything. Finally, Parky said, "You guys are so close I know you know where she is. You better tell me, cause I'm not leaving until you do!" Aunt Reita gave in.
Parky shook his head and said, "What are you doing tomorrow night? Want to go to the picture show in Fort Wayne?" Boy, did she! She knew her friend would be upset, but hey, this was Parky!
She told her dad she had the date, but not her mom. Her dad liked Parky so he was fine with it. Not her mom. She was very upset. "You know this is going to put a kink in your friendship and you've been friends forever." Reita knew that, but this was Parky!
Well, the rest is history. They dated steadily from then on. When she was sixteen and he was nineteen, they got married. He has been the love of her life ever since even after he died several years ago.
What a beautiful love story! Love you, Aunt Reita!