the woman at the memorial day parade

IMG_0003The woman in the middle of this picture is a middle aged harried wife and mother, about forty years old.   Her attendance at the Memorial Day parade each year is quite legendary by now.    She was born and raised in Amityville where she attended the local public schools.    She and her husband, long time residents of Long Beach, are raising a family of three teenagers, two sons and a daughter,  on his meager salary as a bank teller and hers as a schoolteacher.    They’ve been married for practically twenty years.     They’re very active in Republican politics as well as in their church, school and civic organizations.   He’s a fourth degree member of his Knights of Columbus council and she’s involved with their ladies’ auxiliary.   Neither of them smokes and they only drink a little at parties they occasionally attend, though they’re constantly drinking coffee.     All her life she’s been both an avowed Deadhead and a die hard Yankee fan.   She attended many Grateful Dead concerts throughout the country during her youth, and has never missed a Yankee game for as far back as she can remember.    A bit of a neurotic and somewhat too far toward the superstitious side she wears a variety of specific kinds of clothing whenever they’re playing in order to make sure that her team has the very best chance of winning.   Her parents both died several years ago and she’s only somewhat close to her extended family, mostly out of a sense of civility.   They’ve deliberately hurt her entirely too deeply over the years to be worthy of any respect whatsoever but she feels a sense of obligation to play the game for the sake of her husband and kids.    She broke her left leg in the fifth grade because of a roller skating accident and frequently uses her lifelong limp as a source of much humor on her good days, and sarcasm on bad days.   Her students and all the other people at her and her husband’s jobs, and her kids’ friends, consider her quite an admirable character though she has a nasty temper at times and can be seriously impatient when frustrated.      Her kids are good, suffering from only the average traditional adolescent troubles, and so far haven’t given her and her husband any reason to complain, though they’re extremely careless about their homework and study habits.     Ultimately her life so far has been very good to her.   She has all she could possibly want or need, considering all her hardships and disappointments.   Hers has been a well rounded life, with quite a share of both joy and sorrow.


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