Sometimes, It Just Hits You Later

I was sitting in my office, typing away, when a song from Lost in Boston came on the iPod. Suddenly, I was weepy, for it fit what just happened to my mother-in-law.

Who Gave You Permission? (cut from the musical “Ballroom”)

Who gave you permission?
Who said you could go?
You know if you asked me,
I would have said, “no!”
You always said we would grow old together
You always promised that’s the way it would be.
You never said that one would go first.
How could you do this to me?

Who is there to cook for,
and what’s there to clean?
And how will I fill up
the washing machine?
How do you sleep
with nobody snoring?
Waste a teabag
for one cup of tea?
One loaf of bread
will last me a month.
How could you do this to me?

Who’s going to take out the garbage?
Who’ll correct me when I’m right?
Who’s going to change the fuse?
Zip me up in the back?
Who’s going to kiss me goodnight?

Who said I was ready?
Who said I was strong?
I’d never desert you,
not after so long.
You helped me through the birth of our children.
You did your share of bottles and diapers.
There at my side through mumps and through measles.
You drove the car and paid off the mortgage.
You always made me go to the dentist.
And only you remembered my birthday.

      I came down this morning
and what did I do?
Went straight to the kitchen
and made breakfast for two.
Thirty-eight years, our next anniversary.
Somebody said that it wouldn’t last.
Thirty-eight years, it’s hard to believe
How did the time go so fast?

Who’ll leave the cap off the toothpaste?
Bring me a sweater when I’m cold?
Who’s going to open jars?
Talk to me in the dark?
To whom will I never grow old?

The little adjustments.
How strange it will be?
Just getting accustomed
To not saying “we”.
I’ll have to learn to balance a checkbook,
shovel the snow,
clean out the furnace.
So many things that we didn’t do yet.
We had the tickets for our vacation.
March 28th, we leave for Burmuda.
Your navy blue suit is still at the cleaners.

Whenever there was trouble, you managed to fix it somehow.
And if ever there was a time I needed you.
It’s now.

For my father-in-law, Jay Davis, and his widow, Helen.