Family members can always tell if you’re cheating! Let’s begin that again. If you thought I meant marital infidelity was going to be disclosed in this blog today, think again! Actually, what I meant was that although I had considered posting a story I wrote earlier, which is included in the family history book done by my son Steven, I decided not to. My family members would realize right away that the story wasn’t new. If I was going to discuss marital infidelity in my family, and I say this in all truthfulness, I wouldn’t have anything to write about. All of my mother and father’s children followed in their foot steps and maintained a forthright and honest relationship in their marriages, for as long as they were blessed to be together. Mom would have killed us if we’d done otherwise!
Her ability to discern whether or not we are being honest with her is uncanny. I remember once, having had an argument with a teen-aged son, and then having to go to my Mom and Dad’s right afterward. I put a big smile on my face as I walked in the door and gave Mom my usual hug. “What’s the matter?” she said suddenly.”Nothing Mom” I said,”Everything’s fine.” “You’re lying to me I can see it in your face!” she answered, and so I was. It was almost, and still is very much like ESP, what Mom has going for her.
There is no use trying to hide a thing from her because, somehow, if she sees us, feels us, or smells us she knows. I know that sounds a little creepy but let’s just say she is very maternal, almost like a mother grizzly in her vigilant care for all of us— sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and grand kids’ chosen partners included. So I suppose that it’s not out of the question that she could subconsciously be using her more basic senses in a similar way. One thing is certain— if you mess with one of her cubs, you’re really truly in for it!
Over the phone Mom is at a disadvantage, but she knows that, and has figured out just what to do about it. She knows exactly which of her children to call—Me! Long ago she realized that lying just wasn’t my thing. If you ask me something, I may say that I’m not going to answer, if it’s going to put someone else in a bad situation. I may tell you that its only fair that you should talk to whoever is involved yourself . Even those non answers are really answers though, as anyone who has tried that approach knows. “Did your sister wear that beautiful dress I gave her to the concert, or did she give it to the Goodwill?” “I think that’s something you should ask her yourself Mom.” kind of gives it away. The end result is that the rest of the family are even more certain that Mom has ESP than I am, because she has the inside scoop on just about everything, just by asking the right questions of the right kid.
When Dad was still with us, Mom and Dad were hooked on Perry Mason for as long as that series could be found on any of the TV channels that they got. It didn’t even matter if it was a rerun that they could still remember really well. Mom just wanted to get the interrogation method down pat for occasions when it was called for in her life. Judging by the amount of time we are on the phone together, I’d say she thinks it’s called for pretty much daily. But who can blame her? At the moment, those she considers her cubs have increased in number to more than 40, and that much sniffing around is bound to be exhausting. Just in case, kids, if you’re going to visit grandma and you have anything to hide, wear your sunglasses, put on a heavy vest , and take her a nice big bouquet of highly scented flowers. Remember, your grandma can read you like a book because grandma sees all, feels all, and smells all. And as far as hearing all? Well, for that she’s got me. I love you Mom! I was just kidding…er…um…maybe.
I have decided to post a poem here that I wrote for My Mom and Dad for a special anniversary, because it reflects the kind of marriage that they had together for 56 years. It is the kind of marriage that was the result of really hard work on their part. I am ever so thankful for their example.
The Gardeners’ Care
From those of us who follow in your footsteps,
From those who seek to emulate your ways,
From those of us who seek such lasting unions,
What more can we give you than our praise.
We praise you for your work and for the patience
We know it took to make your marriage grow—
To make it something beautiful to look on,
Like a tree a gardener planted long ago.
You must have taken time for careful tending,
Been vigilant to keep away all harm;
You must have often thought about the climate
And took great care to keep those past years warm.
We laud you for the words you left unspoken—
Those words that sometimes each of us have said,
When in the very heat of angry moments
We have cut with words the ones that we have wed.
For cuts and bruises hinder great things growing,
And weaken that, which God has meant to last,
Whereas, a thing of strength and health and vigour
Does evidence fine nurture in the past.
We know a gardener looks with eyes unpitying
On growth in those directions thought unsuited,
On those which might if pushing unobstructed,
Cause the very tree to be uprooted.
And even in this you are to be commended,
By the balance which you day by day work out;
We are sure that if we follow your example
Our marriages will be healthy, there’s no doubt!