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Wonderful final scene

   "I love you, Bob."

  "I love you too, Nancy."

  It was at two o'clock in the morning, through the thin wall between my parents' bedroom and I heard their conversation. Their pledge of love is sweet and touching—and surprising, of course.

  My parents entered the marriage hall on September 14, 1940, after a brief relationship. My mother was in her late 30s and knew it was time to start a family. She thought the man looked like a good choice as the handsome, well-educated man passed by her office, and he was fascinated by her appearance and blue eyes. The romance didn't last long.

  War broke out almost immediately. My mother loved to travel, my father hated it. My father was a big fan of golf, but my mother didn't like it. His father was a Republican and his mother was an ardent Democrat. Parents at the bridge table, bickering over money and the shortcomings of their in-laws. To make matters worse, they're also in business together, and a small setback in the business can lead to a battle within the family.

  After the parents retired, there was hope for peace talks, and the violent storm would calm down a little. But the biting sarcasm hasn't changed, so it stands out. "I always thought we should..." That's how my mother would start off on a long list of my father's glaring faults. This dry nagging is repeated over and over again, so I can still blurt it out verbatim to this day. Father listened, muttering threats and curses in an angry whisper. Such a duo is heartbreaking.

  It's not the happiest marriage. However, with their diamond anniversary coming up, my sister and I decided to throw a celebration. After all, 60 years is a long time. We prepared cakes, balloons and toast, and they had to abide by the no-quarrel rule.

  This truce was respected. We had a great time. In hindsight, it was an important celebration, as the parents' lives changed dramatically soon after. They suffer from Alzheimer's, and presumably marriage is the only thing they won't forget.

  At first, their memory gradually declined. They often fill the house looking for glasses and car keys, leave merchandise on the counter, and don't pay bills. Soon, parents couldn't remember the names of their friends, and then they couldn't remember the names of their grandchildren. In the end, they don't remember that they have grandchildren.

  Going back in time, these big issues would have caused them a lot of fuss; but now they act as a group, helping each other find things, reassuring each other that "everyone makes mistakes like that," or " It's okay, you're just tired." They found new obligations—supporting each other against the fear of failure.

  Then I run their accounts. My parents have been stubbornly keeping separate accounts since they got married, and sharing is unimaginable. Their financial plans are so precise that they can spark war at any time. For example, the father pays the bills for everything outside, while the mother takes care of all the household expenses. Who would pay for the trip was so complicated that they ended up giving up traveling altogether.

  I went through these books. No one now knows how things are paid for; no one understands how to compare the numbers that represent their property. Then I hired a housekeeper. My mother always complained about chores, but all of a sudden she stopped cooking and cleaning. Finally, as the doctor ordered, we cleared the house of alcohol—a fuel that can start a fire more than an argument.

  It's fair to say that my parents' vitality has been weakened because they can no longer be busy with the affairs of life. At the same time, however, something that had been deeply buried emerged and flourished. I realized this when my father was hospitalized for short-term treatment.

  We tried to explain to the mother why the father was not at home. But because of memory problems, she couldn't remember the reason why he disappeared. Again and again she asked where her father was and we told her again and again where her father was. But the mother's anxiety is still growing.

  Finally, I took my father home. When we opened the front door we saw my mother sitting on the sofa. As soon as the father entered the house, the mother stood up shouting. I stood behind me, while my father slowly walked towards my mother, who also greeted my father. They faltered because of their age. As they came together, my mother's trembling hand stroked my father's face and murmured, "Ah, so here you are. So here you are." No

  doubt, if my parents miraculously returned to their old ways Vitality, they will go to war again. But now I see something that stems from all the time my parents have spent together over the years—the years of sharing the same table, admiring the same sun, fighting for life together, raising children together. Even the rage they inflicted on each other was a brick in this invisible edifice. The world around them fell apart, and the edifice grew taller and taller.

  For the first few months, I kept hearing these conversations through the walls. Father asked, "Where are we?" Mother replied softly, "I don't know."

  How lucky they were to have each other, I thought!


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