Sunday, August 12, 2007

Remembering Yvonne Maddock

To commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Lisa's Mum, we went out for Indian food at The Taj of India. Yvonne died in 2003 of the effects of Alzheimer's disease. We're not sure Indian would have been Yvonne's first pick, but she did like onion bhajii. Indian food is the common ethnic food in England, sort of the way Mexican food is for Californians.

In her younger days, Yvonne had trained as a ballerina. I will always remember her dancing with Ken at a New Year's Eve party, probably a decade ago. Even though Alzheimer's had made daily life difficult for her, she was still able to waltz gracefully with her husband. I imagine that they must have looked splendid when they had their first dance as young adults in the late '40s.

My favorite family story is about our parents having dinner together. Ken and Yvonne had come over to visit from England and we were hosting a dinner party at our house in Sunnyvale with my parents as guests. I'm not sure the two sets of parents completely understood each other. As George Bernard Shaw wrote: England and America are two countries divided by a common language. My father was telling Yvonne about the Miner family's timber land in Oregon and how many board-feet they had cut a few years ago, and Yvonne was just going along with the flow as if she was completely fascinated by the tale of some great adventurer. I still laugh any time I hear the term "board-feet".

In closing, "I'd like something nice, but not common."