I’ll honor my parents’ right to privacy by keeping their identities to myself. They’ll be called, simply, Mom and Pop. You might occasionally see them referenced as M&P. “Pop” was the name we kids gave to the old man because we didn’t want to call him “Papa,” the name we might have used in “the old country.”
Born in New Jersey of European immigrants, Pop and his family went back to the old country during the Great Depression. In his late teens, he returned to America, served in the Marine Corps after WWII and met and married my mother. He has an enormous musical gift, both in terms of its production and performance. At some point in his early life, Pop chose to be a curmudgeon. No one knows why. For him, there is a dark cloud around every silver lining. For more about this, read Parental update – 021310.
Mom was born in Europe and was one of the many souls who were sponsored to America after the war. She married Pop and became a mother of three during the Baby Boom. Mom was a life-of-the-party, high-energy kinda gal. She always sought opportunities to help others. For her, there is a silver lining around every cloud.
Neither of my parents had training or natural inclination for raising children. As did so many others, they did the best they could.
Michael is the youngest. Now in his mid-50’s, he is highly educated, teaches for two major American universities, is a sought-after consultant to industry leaders in Europe and North America, and is the president of the Christian Coaches Network International (CCNI). He and Joy, his wife of 30 years, live with their bi-lingual blogging dog, Angel, in Colorado.
Elizabeth is the middle child. She’s in her early-60’s, and lives on the eastern seaboard where she manages important defense industry projects for a major high-tech contractor.
I am the oldest; and am now happily retired. My professional life was spent in the communications field, both in broadcast and cable media and in marketing. Lisa and I have been empty-nesters for a while now. We moved from Minnesota to North Carolina in late 2009 to more closely monitor the care and well-being of my parents.
My folks have many long-time friends. In these pages, you will often see the names of George and Sally (or G&S); fictitious names to protect their privacy.
Finally, the location. Pop’s company transferred him to North Carolina in the early 70’s. Greensboro is a well-planned city of fair size. It’s a place of history and growth, churches and bars, age and youth, large areas of thriving commerce and neighborhoods of the forgotten.
Postscript: Pop passed away in August 2010, and Mom upgraded to Independent Living in December 2011. Both events, and the circumstances leading up to them, are exhaustively chronicled in ElderBlog. They also made possible my relocation back to Minneapolis and then to the Colorado Rockies.