It was a warm, bright November day, and my little boy and I had been out shusssshing our feet in the leaves in the back yard. We’d just celebrated his birthday, and he was wearing a little denim jacket, his golden hair glinting in the sun, while we just whiled away the time.
We went in after a while, and he ate his macaroni and cheese, one elbow at a time, from the steel tray of his high chair, as each warm curl spread a tiny vapor halo around itself on the cool steel. We’d picked or picked up half a dozen or so rosy-turning pears into my upturned shirt-front from the trees out back, and I peeled and cut one into thin slices for his dessert. It was an ordinary day.
I got my bath, got into a “nice” maternity dress for the trip to my once-a-month doctor’s visit, and walked him out to the Big House to his grandmother for the afternoon.
She was sitting in the den---unheard of in the daytime with the noon dinner dishes in the sink and food still on the table. I think I was more astonished at that than at the news to come.
“The President’s been shot!” she said, as I put down baby, bag and purse. I seem to remember sitting on whatever was handy, rapt to the screen and my heart beating fast. I kept count of the time, for I dared not be late---those were the days when your OB was a Deity to be reckoned with, and you humbly listened and obeyed---and then we had to leave.
We heard the final news on the car radio, as we both sat in stunned silence for a long, long time, and that evening, saw the first of many, many re-plays of Walter Cronkite’s tearful words as he was overcome with his dreadful message.
Do you remember?