You Can Now Buy Vodka and Triscuits in Every Flavor

The world is so different from what my parents experienced when they first met in the early ’60s. What would they think of it?

People don’t smoke now. Much. People spend more time on their phones than on their PCs. Virtual reality headsets are commonplace. And by the way, not only can you unlock and start your vehicle without a key, but Google has made a driverless car.

It’s two years today since my dad passed—so I went recently to visit their grave.

Theirs is such a sweet headstone in the Veteran’s Cemetery—his epitaph on one side and hers on the other—back to back as they were for 42 years. I brought yellow tulips. Mom would love them because tulips are the first sign of spring and Dad because of the color. The vibrant yellow is the same as his Ford Ranger truck, the same as his yellow raincoat.

What would they think of ISIS, terrorist bombings, the warmest winter on record? They would be getting a kick out of this presidential election that rivals reality TV. I could imagine a day that my parents, both strong Republicans, would vote for Hilary. Mom would have said Trump is gauche—she would be turned off by his directness. She was taught to be polite and to blend in rather than to stand out if you don’t have anything nice to say.

Funny that here they are, one of thousands of graves at a Veteran’s Cemetery. Today, you can only find them by the bundle of yellow tulips at their side.

Dad knew about the 10 grandchildren—five boys and five girls—that always made him smile when we reminded him that he had 10. But the five greats already? Four boys and one girl? That would make them both so happy. Mom would keep track of all of them—she would not forget a single birthday, or miss a single Easter basket.

Dad, did you know that an astronaut made a working socket wrench last year in space, using a 3D printer? And Mom, you could now answer our phone calls with your watch!

That day I visited their grave, I placed some Hershey’s Drops on the grass next to the tulips. My favorite candy. Mom would have loved those too, all chocolate and no wrapper to have to unpeel. How far we have come. How far we have to go.