My father and mother pause for a photo op on their slow walk through Harvard’s Memorial Church on their way to Morning Prayers in Appleton Chapel. They look like mighty distinguished personages in this setting and in most others. My father is perfecting the art of turning full, wavy hair to white. Good posture fits him like a fine leather glove. If a dictionary editor were seeking an illustration for the term “Cambridge Lady,” I would offer this woman in tweed, cotton, and wool who always wears a high-collared blouse and Victorian brooch. It is impossible to imagine my mother and father living anywhere but Cambridge. This fit between sensibility and location gives them the grandeur of old trees presiding over a place for years in all kinds of weather. My parents are becoming works of art. Each day brings a new expression of their long era together.
When the son visits, he feels this grandeur and sometimes lets it in. His best hope is to lay down pretense and striving in the shade of these giants, and to write a few lines of appreciation.