Meeting your boyfriend’s parents for the first time can be a lot of things. Exciting – because you find out who the people are that brought him into this world. Comforting – because it is certainly a sign that he’s serious about your relationship. And a little nerve-wracking – because you want to leave a good first impression. When I first met Matt’s parents, Ruby and Ray, it was a little bit of everything. We met at Pete’s Polar Parlor in Camillus and although I was a little nervous, it went really well. Matt later told me that his Mom said, “I have to say that she is very lovely.” I certainly thought the same thing about her. Nothing was formal about our first meeting, and she greeted me with a warm hug as if she’d known me long before.
I’ve always been a little bit sad that I never really knew “the” Ruby from before memory loss became a defining part of her life. The fleeting moments and laughs I shared with her seemed small in comparison to the rich stories that I’d heard from her family. I often wished, as did Matt – I’m sure, that we’d met earlier in life, and that I, too, could have shared his mom’s abundance of love that she infused everyone around her with when she was well.
On my wedding day Matt became my husband, but I also somehow became Ruby’s daughter – and she made sure I could feel that all day long.