“How did you know that Dad was the one?” Beth asked her mother.

“When I was a teenager I loved hanging out at the library, sweetheart. I was such a fan of those V. C. Andrews books like Flowers In The Attic and he came along somewheres around that period in my life,” her mother answered.

“So you he reminded you of V. C. Andrews novels and you fell in love?” Beth asked.

“Oh gosh no. He was nothing like the author or the stories.” her mother replied.

Beth’s father had been assigned to hospice care the prior week and she’d been insistent in asking her mother questions about him that she’d never asked before. Her mother was notorious for not answering anything in a direct way and though she’d grown to be patient with her, this day it unnerved her.

“Mom, why did you fall in love with Dad?” Beth asked more directly.

“Oh, that’s easy. I read Flowers In The Attic twice but had a few friends that read it several times more than that before moving to the next book in the series,” she answered.

“Mom! What does reading Flowers In The Attic have to do with falling in love with Daddy?” Beth asked a little too loudly.

“Calm down child. V. C. Andrews books were in mass production back in my day. That’s why,” her mother answered as if the explanation made her answer clearer.

Beth was tempted to scream but instead asked what she felt was the next obvious question, “Mom, how do V. C. Andrews books in mass production correlate to loving Dad?”

“I’ll tell you. Her books, actually all mass produced books of that sort have built in obsolescence. You pick it up and read it once, twice, maybe ten times and though the story’s value doesn’t change, the book itself negates its value by falling apart in your hands,” she explained.

“So you fell in love with Dad cause you loved his story?” Beth asked confused.

“Well of course I loved his story, but no, your Dad had so many stories that once I got to know his, the one about him, I knew I’d go back and turn pages over and over and over again cause his heart felt like treasure to me, like I could open his chest for the rest of my life to find jewel after jewel cause just being near to him felt like a gift and more than anything I admired the binding of his spirit.

Quality folks stand out cause you don’t see them everyday but when you do, you know them by that treasure they keep cause no matter how hard they try to keep it buried it seeps through the eyes and skin, through their words and voice. Your Dad personifies the soul of man who no matter how many stories told or how many times read will never fall into a state of obsolescence…” her mother’s voice cracked.

“…your Daddy was to me then and is to me now the Renaissance of Love,” her mother finished.

Beth reached over to hug her mother as she cried.

“Thank you, Mom,” she said in tears.