Saturday, October 1, 2011

Today would have been my parent's 45TH Anniversary

If you were in the area of East 96TH Street and Euclid Avenue on, October 1, 1966 You might have caught a glimpse of then Richard L. Pryor (The Sr. came later) and his lovely new bride, Barbara. They made their way out of Euclid Avenue Congregational Church this day. The sun was on their faces and the wind was surely at their backs.

The afternoon was filled with so much promise. Family and friends were there to witness them open this new chapter as husband and wife. The wedding was nothing like today's extravaganza's. The budget was almost as tight as their bond. As I was emailing with my Dad's best man, Frank the other day he pointed out that times were much different back then. Priorities for my folks were based on principals and other values that no budget of any size could simply buy. The no frills affair made up with love what it may have lacked in pomp. 

The end of this day also included some new concepts for them to digest like "Married-Student Housing" and "Your side of the bed." They were both still attending Kent State University at that time. They wanted to follow the rules so they got married. My mom finished her degree in 1968. My Dad would not graduate from college until 1993. As a recent graduate myself approaching 40, I guess my later than usual timeline comes naturally.

Their were ups and downs along the way but they held true to their vows spoken in that beautiful church so many years ago. It was my intention to give my Mom the wood burning I made for her to celebrate 45 years on this day, but she came for a visit 2 weeks ago so I surprised her with this when she arrived. 

The image shows my sister Beth and me. We were doing what we always did back then, hang out and be best friends. The photo I used was taken at their first purchased home in East Cleveland, a two-family home off Noble Road. We were their only two but once you got it right why mess with harmony. I'm just kidding they planned on two kids and that's what they did.

What they could have never expected was my Father to suddenly pass away in 1994. He was a second year student in seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. My parents were some of the happiest married people I have ever scene together. This was the hardest loss I have ever had to cope with. In an instant, I was placed in a blast furnace and remade much closer to my Dad's image, on the inside. He was an amazing man and being his son forced me to become a man he could respect.

If he were here today I would have gotten them one of those cards that play music when you open it and made sure they both knew just how much I appreciate their sacrifices. I am sure he knows who I am today and seeing my Mom ministering to her flock in Michigan must give him comfort. As for my sister, she is an amazing woman who takes care of the ill with her gift of art therapy. Her happy stable marriage is very familiar too. I realize this might have been a bit self indulgent but if you, my readers, knew my Mom and Dad you would not mind.   

Please follow me on Twitter @RichardLPryorJr!/RichardLPryorJr Please visit My new Custom Pet Portrait wood burning venture.

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