Peeking at my father's obit yesterday, I ran across this wonderful essay written by a childhood friend of my Law Enforcement brother. I was already out of the house during the time period described, but I still lived close and remember how happy my parents were at this time in their lives. Parentheses and italics mine.
N and B E were like a second set of parents to a couple of us kids from the S-L clan. As children, we practically lived at their house after school, on weekends, in the summer. We remember regularly knocking on that big solid wooden door every afternoon, and every weekend morning, about as early as we figured they'd accept us. Mr. E almost invariably answered the door.
"Hey, beeb, shoot to me," he'd say, his right hand outstretched for our exaggerated, ritual handshake.
"Shake the hand that shook the hand of dear old dad, amen brother, got new glasses, M passed the test, shot a chicken, killed a hen, good ole' brother Ben." It was always the same; we must have done it a thousand times, along with the dead-fish handshake, the politicians' handshake, the lumberjack handshake.
We baked more cookies with Mrs. E than we did with our own mother, which is saying a lot, because we spent a lot of time in the kitchen with our mom. RCE was my best friend; PME was (my brother's) best friend. So we spent a lot of time over there. And the E family always welcomed us as if we were family, too.
(My brother) and I, and our brothers, wish the Es solace. N and B were a blessing in our lives and in many others'. We'll never forget them. Nor will we forget the lifelong frienships we forged during the countless hours we spent in their home and among their family. We might not see you much, but we think about you all the time.
A lovely reminder of happier times. This was, as my Caretaker brother said, "kickin'."