Updated: Apr 6, 2020
My parents were high school sweethearts. They met at a wedding. My mom was a guest, and my dad was a busboy. They had seen each other around high school, but didn't hang in the same crowd. Growing up, they were good role models for a relationship, but neither had much dating expertise for a teenage girl to learn from. Still...it was true love at its best.
They were married for 50 years. In fact, we celebrated their last anniversary together in December 2018.
When my father was sick, my mom had a very tough time. Imagine watching your partner crumble over a period of six months, with nothing you can do but love and care for them. Unfortunately, a lot of people go through it these days, but it's awful to witness nonetheless.
My dad passed away in August of 2019. My mom was never the same. She had a constant gaze about her, a distant look in her gorgeous blue eyes. It was as if she was always missing her other half. She missed him so much. She didn't know life without my dad. She never lived alone, didn't pay bills, change batteries or even take out the trash. My dad was her everything.
Again, why is this relevant to mah jongg? Well, now we're getting there. Through the grief, my mom and I managed to spend a great deal of time together. My brother and I kept her busy with endless phone calls and tutorials on bill paying, and we tried not to go too long without seeing her. We made the best of a dreadful situation with family togetherness (minus our patriarch).
My mom devoted herself to me and my children. She visited South Florida more often than she stayed home, we took a few short trips together, and of course, we played Mah Jongg.