Thursday, July 3, 2014

Another Coincidental Family Date: The Third of July

Wedding Photo of Bob Birk and Bette Bond,
married the 3rd of July, 1943.

I have written about dates in our family that disproportionately fall on certain dates. There is a long list, many stretching back hundreds of years. Other genealogists say that they have noticed the same pattern in their families.

Today, July 3rd, is another one of those coincidences in our family, and it is very personal to me. You see, seventy-one years ago, on July 3rd in 1943, a young couple, Bob Birk and Bette Bond, decided that they had had enough of the ever-increasing plans that their mothers were concocting for their wedding. Picture tents and tulle and boatloads of orchids and cakes like skyscrapers - all during World War II, while things like sugar and gasoline were tightly rationed. Picture lots of eye-rolling going on...

So, Bette and Bob decided that eloping was the best way to end this wedding circus. They didn't go far, just to a nearby county, where they were married by the justice of the peace. After all, it was a Saturday night and the next day was the Fourth of July, so they’d have plenty of time to get used to it before they told their parents (read: their mothers). Of course, when told, their mothers weren’t happy, but done was done. Suspecting that there was a baby on the way, the mothers waited and watched, and waited...

This went on for fourteen years. Finally, fourteen years to the day of that elopement, the baby arrived.

Me,  making plans
to celebrate July 3rd.
That baby was me and that Bette and Bob, were my parents. I was their only child, so July 3rd was a big day in our lives. That is, until I turned eleven, which was also my parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and sadly, their last. My mother was gravely ill on that anniversary and died shortly afterward. From that day on, my father mourned July 3rd. Even as years passed, sadness hung in the air on the 3rd of July. He passed away last November, so I like to think that today, July 3rd, in the afterlife, they are happily celebrating their anniversary, together once again.

Back on Earth, that leaves me to remember their anniversary and to celebrate my birthday, which I am going to begin doing, just as soon as I post this blog.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July,