Wednesday, September 17, 2014
My son Jason has given me permission to post this. He originally posted this on FaceBook.
Thoughts about my sister Jessica's wedding yesterday. I'm not exactly sentimental about weddings; jaded is more like. I have seen so many broken dreams in my life -- both my own and other peoples'. When I see a vacant storefront with remnants of the sign that used to be there, I feel a moment of sadness: that was someone's dream. Weddings, too, are all about dreams awaiting fulfillment, and I have learned not to trust in dreams.
But something beautiful happened at the reception that made it worthwhile for me to be there. My other sister Catherine married about a year ago, in a small ceremony when not many of us were there; it was felt appropriate by all concerned that she and her husband should affirm their vows now, with all of us present. So it wasn't technically a double wedding, but it looked like one.
About midway through the reception, the deejay called the two couples to the dance floor. What happened next might have surprised someone who didn't know our family, but it did not surprise me. Two couples dancing did not last long. My sisters' children came out, and it quickly became a parents and children dance. Next, it was the two brides dancing together and the two grooms dancing together. As the music was ending, it looked like they were starting to form a circle of adults and children.
As I watched this, it struck me: this is the kind of family we are. Yes, God, I know the treasure I have.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
I have spent a good part of today and some of the days leading up to today thinking about my father. I have mixed feelings about him. I feel sorry for him since he was abused terribly growing up. I do have to say that he tried not to pass the abuse on, though he did fail in some regards.
I keep having to struggle with anger towards him since his behavior most definitely shortened my mother's life. Not that he was trying to do that, he was trying to get her to marry him a third time. Although she knew the Bible fairly well, she did not know the part that warns against remarrying someone you have been married to before. She felt obligated to marry him, yet she couldn't face the stress of it. I was in my teens at the time and finally told her that I could see it was tearing her apart, and that she should not marry him. He was shocked and so was she, yet she decided not to marry him. The stress had weakened her health so much that she never recovered. (She had always had difficult health since she had severe rheumatoid arthritis.) She died at the age of 47.
I also feel anger about a time period that I won't describe since it was horrible and he was doing something he condemned in his own father. Later he did apologize to me.
He did not know the meaning of faithfulness for a man. He expected the woman to be faithful, but that did not apply to him.
I hope he really did turn to Jesus at the end of his life. I advised him to do that. In fact I almost took on a parental role with him near the end of his life. I do try to remember that his intentions were good, though a lot of his behavior was not.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
This is a picture of my mother holding me as an infant.
My mother had a difficult life. She was born to a Methodist minister and his wife who had planned to go to India as missionaries. Shortly before they were to leave, he contracted tuberculosis, so was eliminated at that time from becoming a missionary. They took a pastorate in the small town of Columbus, NM, where Pancho Villa had raided and killed most of the men. My grandfather was hoping the dry air would help him to get over the tuberculosis, but it didn't. My grandmother did most of the pastoral duties, while his main duty was to pray. My mother was born there. At the age of 2, she got juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, though at the time they did not know what it was. My grandfather was very afraid he had given her something called tubercular bones.
After a while they moved to El Paso, TX, when the small church got another pastor. My grandmother got a teaching job in El Paso, and eventually got a Master of Arts degree in Education. She taught in the public schools there for over 40 years as well as nursing her husband and helping her little daughter. My mother's arthritis was very active during her growing years since her skeletal structure was very altered from what is normal. One leg was 4 inches shorter than the other and her arms were shorter than usual compared to her height. She did well in school, but was bullied since she was not very adept socially and was handicapped.
She met my father when he was stationed at Ft. Bliss, TX, which is adjacent to El Paso. They married and shortly thereafter he was sent overseas since it was during WWII. I was born while he was in Germany. When he came back after the war, he got out of the army after a while, but felt restless, so signed up for the Air Force and soon was sent to Germany again and then to Korea. At the time he was in Germany he told my mother he wanted a divorce. She was heartbroken. Then she went back to college, first getting her BA and then her MA in education. She got a teaching job about the time I went to elementary school. A few years later, my father reappeared and wanted to marry her again. She agreed and then we went to Delaware where he was to be stationed. About a year later he was sent to Okinawa. The doctor told my mother that the climate there would probably kill her since her arthritis was so active. So he drove my mother and me back to El Paso, and she got another teaching job. At some point he was sent to California and told us to come there. My mother had just signed a teaching commitment and asked him to wait just a little while until the school was able to get someone else. He demanded a divorce. So she continued teaching and for a while was able to walk a fair distance since her arthritis went into remission for a while.
Then my father reappeared after several years, and wanted to get married again. She was very hesitant to do that. My father pressured me to encourage her to marry him, but she didn't want me involved in the mess. Finally I told her that I could tell that the worry was bad for her since her arthritis was back, big time. She decided to tell him it wouldn't work. He got angry and disappeared again. However, the stress was so great on her that she also got ulcers and from there many other physical problems, and died at the age of 47, weighing only 77 lb, even though she was 5' 6".
She taught me to be loving and caring and to look to God for everything! She is my idea of a true saint.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Our assignment for this session was to list at least three things that we have accomplished in our lives, so we can remember them when we feel down about ourselves.
1. I raised 6 children and overcame some of the problems of having been in an abusive situation.
2. I worked for and received my Bachelor's degree and my Master's degree in psychology.
3. I taught my children at home for many years, and they all achieved considerably above average on national tests.
Get An Email Alert Each Time NELLIEC Posts