HomeLifestyleTiny Love Stories: ‘My Parents Fought a Lot’

Tiny Love Stories: ‘My Parents Fought a Lot’

No church wants a pastor without a wife. Not in the 1960s, anyway. A year from graduating with a masters in theology, my father visited his school library and placed a book on each study table. He planned to return later, see who caught his fancy and then join her table as he claimed his book. But it was the student librarian who smiled at him when he returned. She despised the patriarchy, loved to gossip and preferred jokes to piety. My father asked her out, and my mother said yes. — Sari Fordham

This can’t possibly work. Hemza is half my age and lives 3,800 miles away. But after he visited me in November, he updated his online status to say, “I fell in love with his soul before I could even touch his skin.” With the distance and age difference, this can’t be heading anywhere, can it? Still, I’m hearing “love,” “skin” and “soul” in a sentence that I’m pretty sure refers to me. When Hemza visited, he planted 100 tulip bulbs in my yard so I will think of him in the spring. So maybe this is heading somewhere, isn’t it? — Matthew Lukasiak

Sometimes the electricity would shut off, other times the water, often both. When I was growing up in Los Angeles, my family kept a cooler in our hallway that we’d fill with food and ice. My parents fought a lot those nights. Usually, my brothers ended up leaving with my father, while I stayed with my mother. We would color by candlelight in Dollar Store coloring books and watch reruns of “Roseanne” on a battery-powered TV. My mother remembers those nights as the “bad times.” For me, they were the moments that led to my mother becoming my best friend. — Samantha Lopez

After my father died, I flew to New York to spend a week getting his home in order. Each day, I filled boxes with his books, my heart emptying with each shelf. Each night, I cried myself to sleep in his bed. I felt caught between my desire to return home and my desire to stay there, with him. I arrived back at the Detroit airport in a fragile state, knowing my husband would be at work; my grief and I would have to cab home. But then my phone dinged with my husband’s message: “Be there at 5.” — Debbie Feit

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