On February 12, 1955, a cold and snowy day in North Chicago, Illinois, Wayne R. Marocco and Geraldine A. Borg were married. It was an intimate affair with family and friends at Mother of God Church on 10th Street. Father Adammich presided over the ceremony and was a wonderful mentor to them over the years. They followed with a reception at Marge and Clarence Geib’s home in Waukegan. Marge, also known as Grandma Geib, was a long time family friend and a second mother to Geri. Marge and Geri also worked together over the years and at that time they were working at Vernas, a local family restaurant. Wayne was a frequent customer at the restaurant and credits Marge as helping to introduce him to Geri.
According to Webster, an anniversary is a date that is remembered or celebrated because a special or notable event occurred on that date in a previous year. With that definition, February 12th is a special day to Papa and will always be remembered. It was the first day of a long and happy marriage. It was the first day they pledged their love to one another and the individual hopes that they each had were combined to become mutual dreams. It was the beginning of the many joys and sorrows that they felt for just shy of 59 years. It was the first day of the numerous homes that they built and of the family that they raised. It was the first day of travels, of countless places that they saw and of the friends they met. It was the first of many holiday traditions and celebrations that they shared. It was the day they became one.
Today would have been Papa and Nana’s 59th wedding anniversary and the first time Papa will be celebrating this day alone.
Every person grieves differently and what works for one person does not work for others. There is no manual or clear-cut behavior that a grieving spouse should follow, and no guidance for the family to be able to help. So we followed Papa’s lead to do whatever he wanted to celebrate today. Nana was his world; she helped to define him. Papa decided he did not want this day to be ignored or forgotten by others, he wanted to talk to people and cherish the memories that he and Nana had built over the past 59 years.
February 12, 2014 is another cold and snowy day, and Papa did do exactly what he wanted to do today. He woke up and went to McDonalds, the audiologist, shopping and then to Starbucks. He came home and was pleasantly surprised to speak to all of his siblings and his brother-in-law. While he will never feel the same love that he felt with Nana for 59 years, knowing his family thought of him on February 12th made him feel both loved and cared for. Papa and I went to dinner tonight and he reminisced about Nana and his wedding. He will always miss Nana and the life they shared, but he felt loved today, and he had a Happy Anniversary.