Maxine and Robert Bassett on their wedding day.

Maxine and Robert Bassett on their wedding day.

62 years ago today was momentous for me. Without it, heck, I wouldn’t even be around, much less a gleam in anyone’s eye  ;)

my mom, Maxine Esther Dickau married my dad Robert Neal Bassett at the Ontario Community Baptist Church in Wisconsin. “Miss Dickau is Wed… The bride was attired in white satin covered with marquisette detailed with a long train, a lace-edged bodice and a yoke gathered with orange blossoms. Her fingertip veil was held by a tiara.” The church was decorated with seasonal lilac blossoms and my mother carried a dozen red roses she and my dad had bought. They paid for their wedding themselves. I find the orange blossoms prophetic, as mom and dad later moved to Orange where my sister and I grew up in an idyllic setting of orange and lemon and lime and olive groves. My childhood was filled with happy memories of family bike rides past small farms and into town for breakfasts on Tustin Avenue.

Tonight mom and I shared a ribeye steak, mashed sweet potatoes and a salad, and I asked her what her favorite memory was of their wedding day. She started in with a smile, “I didn’t want to take my wedding dress off, I wanted my husband to do that. I wore it after the ceremony, and throughout our reception of ice cream and homemade wedding cake for sixty guests. After the reception we drove to a motel to reserve a room for our wedding night. Then we went to a restaurant to have dinner together; me in my wedding dress, and your dad had changed from his wedding suit to his Navy uniform.”

“Later he asked me why did my dress have to have so many tiny buttons all the way down the back. We laughed about that for many years!”

My dad is no longer with us, and yet he is, in his essence. Mom and Dad, happy happy anniversary! I am so grateful you fell in love with each other (for my own sake!). And I am incredibly grateful that you lived well and loved well for all of the other sixty years of your resilient and happy marriage. Today I honor you and your love for each other.

Lopaka and Makina (Bob and Max) in Mauai

Lopaka and Makina (Bob and Max) in Mauai