Sunday, April 5, 2009

How things might have been different . . .

I think all you siblings know that Mom had been dating and planned to marry a guy in Brookfield, but her Dad forbade it. She met Dad when she went away to college, but Mom and Dad occasionally checked to see what had become of Bob -- I have his name written down somewhere and will add it when I (re-)discover it.
Over the years I've learned a little more and a little more about Dad dating Peg Rase. I don't know when it was first intimated to me that they had dated, but I remember asking Dad about it. He confirmed that they had dated but didn't say much more. Then, last year, I was interviewing Peg for the Alfred Bicentennial oral history project, and I think it was in one of the preparatory sessions or after the formal interview was concluded, she told me that she and had had "been an item". and that if he hadn't gone off to Kansas to college and she hadn't gone to Albany Girls' Academy, they might have gotten married. We laughed about that, and I told her I had always felt warmly toward her. She reiterated something she has said to us more than once: that we are like family. It puts a twist at the corner of my mouth, a plaintive smile on my face, to think of Dad and her in their youth, growing up together. Then I reflect on the years I spent growing up with Dan and Peg's son, Jere, and the closeness we have sometimes shared, and I think of how I enjoy Peg's reminiscences and Dan's practical wisdom and his joking with Ian. It is a delight to think of all this, as I am just about to take Ian to their old house so he can help Dan get some yard-work done. He has taken Ian under his wing like a grandson, more than once, so to know the truth that had been hidden for so many years, is like the closing of a large circle of relationship. It is a delight.