Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")
Thursday, February 19, 2009
V: He Was Unwanted
My dad's birthday was this week. February 17, 1922, a baby boy, weighing 8 lbs. was born to my 20 yr. old grandmother, who had been deserted by her young husband. He left Arkansas to seek his fortune in Salt Lake City and later ended up in New York. In the old family Bible, I discovered my grandmother's attempt to erase the indelible ink birthdate of my father, who had been born in Feb. following her August wedding. She had confessed to my mother that she and her mother had attempted to bring on menstruation by various home "remedies". Of course it is apparent that in order to avoid the shame and embarrassment of a unwed pregnancy (especially in 1921), that they tried to abort the life of her unborn child. Fortunately, the attempt was not successful, and my lovely grandmother gave birth to a hearty, healthy, handsome boy who would be the best son a mother could have and he would be the only child she would ever bear, though she remarried when he was nine.
Letters in the old suitcase my grandmother left me, written by my dad when he spent four years in the South Pacific during World War II reveal a son always concerned and worried about his mother, because it always ended up just the two of them. He worried that she had to work when she had health problems, and that he was not there to help her.
Dad and me.
Many years later, when my grandmother died at age 77, it was the only time I recall ever seeing my father break down and weep. He wept quietly at the funeral home; he was a reserved person who was uncomfortable with public displays of grief. The last time we saw her at the funeral, he again wept and said "Mother was a beautiful woman". It took me back a little because I had never heard him say such a thing. I loved my grandmother. I still do. I don't condemn her for being afraid and probably ashamed for her predicament. She did not have an easy time; both her parents died before she was thirty years old, and she raised my dad pretty much by herself with no financial support from my grandfather, and little help from her brothers and former-in-laws. They did assist her some, and my dad grew up close to his cousins who were more like brothers and sisters. But I guess what I want to say is that sometimes we think we know what is best for ourselves. It's our own life, our own plans. We think we know what is best for ourself--our own life. But Holy Scripture tells us that we do not belong to ourselves, but were purchased by the blood of the Lamb. I especially consider this during this Season of Lent.
Dad and my eldest daughter.
Psalm 139 tells us that "You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb...I know it with all my heart. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there--you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began."
In 1989, my Dad (who joined a church for the first time in his life at the age of 67), sat next to me in a Bible class. It was January and Life Sunday, the day when people who profess pro-life, pray and march in support of their position. The Lutheran pastor read the above Psalm, and I heard a little gasp from my Dad sitting next to me. "Why that's predestination", he whispered. Now, I am the last person to say that I fully comprehend the doctrines of predestination and election, but I do believe that God is the Creator and Author of LIFE, and that our days are in His hands. With every fibre of my being I believe that life has intrinsic value which does not hinge upon being "wanted" or "planned". And I give thanks for the life of my dad, an unwanted child, who now lives with His heavenly Father, and through me and my children and grandchildren and even future grandchildren yet to be born. My dad's life taught me that we do not always know what is best for us. Our forgiven mistakes may result in our greatest joys and blessings.
Mid-sized city, Somewhere in the South!, United States
We are "C" and "V," two baby-boomers who have been through thick and thin--50+ years of best-friend togetherness.
C is a divorce attorney, separated from her husband of 40(!) years--at age 59 he ran off with a thirty-year-old-never-married-mother-of-two and has now fathered another--and we're not even divorced! A very hard time for C.
C has one grown son--no daughter-in-law or grandchildren yet! (Drat!)
V works in a community based instruction program in a public school, helping special-needs students learn life skills. Mother of three, grandmother of five!
For 50+ years we've laughed together, cried together, and we've learned a lot! We love, love, love writing and want to share with you! Please come share, too!
Check out our posts under the label "Stickhorses" for more, but suffice it to say that these cowgirls started their lives together riding stick horses. Stick horses have come to symbolize the power of dreams and imagination for C and V--besides, we love cowgirl spirit!
You and the mother of the man who done you wrong are going to raise chickens together? I love it. I hope you become international stars in the chicken-raising world, and when you (and his mother and your chickens) are famous, I hope he comes crawling back, pleading with you to take back his poor miserable, not-famous self. You go, girl!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! On to International Chicken Stardom!! C
YET ANOTHER STUPENDOUS COMMENT!
SimplyJoolz (see our blogroll for link) said these kind words about the travails of C:
I love this story -its like a well written novel. I can't wait until the part where C kicks the useless husband between his hanky and his small change pocket! Lol!
It's coming, Joolz! C
PS - thank you all for your comments. They so give me a lift--often just when I need it!
C's SINGLE AGAIN POWER
Below is a list of things I'm learning to do--wish I'd started years earlier! It feels so good to list my "Power Accomplishments" for you, and I'd love to hear about yours!
Replacing the back fireplace refractory panel. Who knew?
Jacking up the front porch with my new, red, hydraulic jack!!
Learning to shoot and getting my Conceal-and-Carry license! (Power rush!!)
Purchasing tires...all by myself!
Buying and installing (!) the lawn tractor battery! Again, not rocket science...
Putting a new end on a ruined looooong extension cord. One prong was missing, and we replaced the plug-in. (Who knew you could do this??) I feel so, well, powerful!
Cleaning Tractor Air Filter
Dealing with fire ants--boy, are those suckers tuff!
Gettin' that utility pole installed.
Ordering gravel (SB 2!)
Replacing hydraulic hoses
Learning about the lawn mower (engine stabilizer!).