Some Things Are
by Jerry Guarino
Jack and Alice were high
school sweethearts. They continued their romance
in college and then married soon after graduation.
If any couple would be together forever, Jack and
Alice were that couple. They raised two beautiful
children who gave them wonderful grandchildren.
It was a life well lived, until they reached
their seventies. Thats when the problems
Alice, where are my
Where did you leave
I dont know
sweetheart. Thats why Im asking.
Jack puttered around the
house looking for his keys.
Are you going out?
Yes dear. Were
going to church.
The kids are coming
over for dinner Jack. You need to go to the store
and get burgers, hot dogs and ice cream. Here,
you can use my car keys.
Jack returned home an hour
later with two grocery bags. Alice emptied them
on the kitchen counter.
Jack, what is this?
There wasnt a hot dog
or hamburger to be found. The only food was for
cats and dogs. There were cleaning supplies and
storage bags, toiletries and even some clothing
Jack, where is the
Jack pointed to the pet
Jack, we dont
have a dog or a cat. Where are the burgers, hot
dogs and ice cream?
Why do we need that?
The kids and
grandkids are coming, remember?
I think my show is on.
Jack walked into the living room. Alice took the
groceries back to the store and got food for
dinner. Jack had been getting forgetful lately,
but nothing like this. It was almost as if his
memory had been erased.
Jack, Im home.
Alice rushed into the
living room. Jack was asleep, she hoped, in his
chair. She gently shook his shoulder.
Oh, hello dear. Guess
I drifted off. What time is dinner?
When the kids get
here, around six.
Why are they coming?
having a barbeque, to celebrate. Its the
fourth of July, remember?
Oh, all right. Do you
want me to go shopping?
All taken care of
Our children, Bob and
Nancy and their children, your grandchildren.
wait to see them. What are their names?
Bob and his wife Jill,
and their girls, Amanda and Heather. Nancy and
her husband Joe, their son Charley and daughter
expression worried Alice.
Thats a big
Yes dear. We are
Maybe I should go get
a cake. Kids love cake.
Well, if you like,
but make sure youre back by five.
Jack went back to the store.
He saw all sorts of holiday cakes on display. He
found one just the right size. This time he didnt
buy any pet food or extraneous items.
Im back dear.
Alice took the box from
Jack and opened it. It was a dinosaur birthday
cake. Alice looked at her husband, lovingly at
Jack, this is a
Yes, I know. Its
Well, the kids like
dinosaurs, dont they?
Yes. Maybe we could
put a couple sparklers in there and take the
Should I go buy some
Alice wasnt going to
let him buy fireworks. No dear. I think we
have some from last year. She removed the
plastic dinosaurs from the cake and washed them
off. Little Stacey will probably play with them.
Then she carefully lifted off the birthday
lettering. If the cake wasnt green, it
wouldnt have been so bad. Fortunately, she
had some July 4th decorations: a red, white and
blue plastic tablecloth, paper plates, napkins,
and balloons. Here dear. Why dont you
set the picnic table. How much trouble
could he have with that?
Soon, the doorbell rang and
the family gathered around their papa. The
grandchildren loved him. He always read them
stories and gave them treats.
Papa! came a
chorus from all four, as they grabbed his legs
and hugged, almost knocking him over.
Kids. How are you.
Read us a story.
Little Charley handed him a
book. They all sat around Jack on the couch, with
Charley and Heather sitting on his lap. Bob and
Nancy joined Alice in the kitchen.
Hi mom. How is he
Alice showed them the cake.
What is that?
It was supposed to be
for today, but Jack bought a dinosaur birthday
Better add more
Dad set the picnic
table. Can you go check.
Sure mom. Nancy
Mom. The table isnt
set. But the sprinklers were on and the table is
soaked. I turned them off. Do you have some
Oh my. Thanks Nancy.
Here. Can you set the table.
Fortunately, the dinner was
uneventful. The kids even liked the cake. Bob and
Nancy consoled Alice.
Let us know if you
need anything mom.
Jack and Alice sat on the
front porch watching the fireworks.
Alice, remember when
we first met.
That was so long ago
dear. What are you thinking about?
I remember the yellow
summer dress with blue flowers you wore. Your
hair smelled like strawberry. When we kissed, you
would touch my neck. Your hand was so soft. There
was that time when Nancy fell off her bike and we
held her for an hour until she fell asleep. And
the night Bob was born, no crying, just lay there
sleeping in your arms.
Yes, we worried
something might be wrong.
But he was fine. The
doctor said sometimes babies just dont cry
at first. He never was a cry baby. Always content.
So different from Nancy, our sentimental girl.
Then there was the time they both had their first
sleepovers at friends houses. We stayed up all
night worrying that they would call us to come
home; the next morning they found us on the couch
I remember. They
slept like babies and we worried for nothing.
Then, they began
dating in high school. Bob met that red-haired
girl, Samantha I think. She had freckles and long
hair. He took her to a movie. When he got home,
we asked him how it went. He said it was the best
night of his life. We could see some lipstick on
his neck, but didnt mention it. He
practically floated off to bed that night.
I liked Samantha too
Jack. It crushed him when she had that car
accident. It was the first time I ever saw him
But thankfully, she
recovered. Bob learned so much from her. She was
so good for our boy, his first love.
Alice squeezed Jacks
hand and rested her head on his shoulder.
You were my first
love Alice and always will be. He turned
and kissed her. Alice put her hand on Jacks
Maybe we should make
our own fireworks tonight.
All right dear. If
youre not too tired.
They retired to the bedroom.
By the time Alice finished brushing her teeth,
Jack was asleep. She cuddled onto him and slept,
not sure of what to expect tomorrow.
Jack woke up early, as
usual. He turned to Alice and kissed her.
beautiful. How were our fireworks last night?
Honey, it was great.