This past week has been a jumble of emotions. If you’ve ever read, Feisty, a tribute to my parents, you may know that my parents were 40 years old when I was born. All my grandparents were dead by the time I came into the world.
As a little girl, when people would ask if my parents were my grandparents this caused anxiety in my heart. I knew that my grandparents were in heaven. If people thought my parents were old enough to be my grandparents, would my parents die at any minute?
It was a huge concern to me as a child. It didn’t paralyze me from enjoying life, but it’s always been floating around in my brain. So, basically I’ve been trying to cope with my parents’ mortality all of my life. Probably the entirety of humanity deals with the inevitability of our parents leaving this earth.
And so the finality of it all has come to pass. Mom went home to Glory 5 years ago this week. My father can no longer live independently due to a massive stroke. This past weekend, my childhood home was disbanded. I realize few people have the opportunity to spend their entire childhood in one home, one community. (We dragged our poor children across the USA.)
It was a modest home that my parents built in 1969 paying cash. I remember my parents finishing the woodwork in the kitchen by the light of a Coleman lantern after dad got off work. The smell of the lacquer was heady and I liked it. The happy memories and smells that kitchen held. The turkeys roasted, the hams glazed, the Christmas cookies cut, the green beans canned, the birthday cakes iced, the wonderful homemade noodles.
I would sit on the floor in front of the refrigerator while the female kinfolk would clean up after a big family meal. In the winter this was delicious because the fridge put out warm air at the bottom. We’d talk and laugh.
There was always lots of laughter.
The kitchen table was scratched and scuffed from the countless games of Euchre, Poker, Spoons, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Cribbage, Scattegories. Spoons often drew a little blood, too.
My bedroom evolved from light pink with Cinderella wallpaper, Purple and Green 1970’s patchwork quilt motif, and in college to green palm frond décor. The door would barely shut over the phone cord. To have some much needed teen ‘privacy,’ I would drag the phone into my bedroom from another room. As much as I begged, there would be no phone in my bedroom. (Our firstborn would be conceived in this bedroom.)
The bathroom where I experimented with make-up, hairstyles and hot rolled waist length hair had an incredible seashell countertop! Seashells were encased in a clear resin, an unexpected touch in an Indiana farmtown. No wonder I love the sea. The tub and double sinks were blue. In adulthood, my sisters and I had many a wonderful conversation over those double sinks as we would get ready for special occasions. I loved that bathroom with it’s unique corner bathtub. However, I never could embrace the silver metallic wallpaper mom installed after I left for college.
Even after we all started our own families, this little house was the central meeting point for siblings who lived across the country. Cousins would watch tv jumbled together on the floor. The rusted swingset out back entertained the next generation.
These sweet memories are what I have left as I say goodbye to the physical presence of my childhood. I write this to encourage you, sweet reader, to do whatever possible to create a warm and happy home for your precious children, even if this home takes residence at different addresses.
That’s the whole reason for this blog. It’s for the children. It’s for our grandchildren, for the great grandchildren. Even if you don't have children, you will have influence over children, if you desire. It’s for the legacy we will leave.
In a way, I write this blog to pass along my mother’s joyful heart. She taught me that you do whatever it takes to walk through adversity having faith. On the other side, there would be good. The good may take surprising forms. She taught this in all aspects of life. But, I’ve found this lifeskill most applicable in my marriage.
A good marriage doesn’t just affect you and your spouse. It affects your children. It mentors your co-workers, friends and extended family. Happiness that is gleaned through a thriving homelife filters into your corner of the world, every inch of it. I want to affect people through my contentment rather than bitterness, don’t you?
So, low libido ladies, figure out what it will take to redeem a broken marriage or to make a good marriage better. If you don’t know where to start, PRAY.
Be the sunshine for your corner of the world.
In My Life, the Beatles