Here’s a link to this week’s Americana. I apologize if you’re already reading it and it loops back to this. But the cool picture of the cranberries I found growing wild in a swamp near the Maryland and West Virginia border is worth a peek, even if you’re not in the reading mood.
I have so much to be grateful for. In my old age, I have come to see my parents clearly. For many years I idolized them. I thought they were perfect. I grew a little older and recognized that they’d made some mistakes. Gradually they became real to me. Flawed people. That was painful. The process of stripping away my misconceptions hurt.
But that pain has worn off and I’m back to a better appreciation for all they did.
They taught me to love the Lord. They taught me to pray. They taught me obedience.
My mom has a good education. She had taught school after she and my dad were married. But as the number of children increased disproportionately to their income, she resisted the temptation to return to work. She could have earned more, but she stayed home and stretched my dad’s earnings to astonishing lengths. The concept of leftovers was introduced as a new phenomenon when my older brothers left home, but we ate a healthful, if simple diet.
She made all our bread. She prepared our meals. She taught me to bottle fruit. She took me Visiting Teaching.
She read to us. She instilled a love of great literature. She taught us to speak properly. I still fight the urge to correct grammar (except in my immediate family, when I don’t resist and freely indulge the impulse.)
Most important, she was there for us. Not in any showy, facebook, gushy way. Just interested in us and our well-being.
Our Dad taught us to value moral courage. He did what was right and let the consequence follow.
He made most of our furniture. He fixed everything from our cars to our plumbing. He helped other people. He taught us to look outward for ways to help others.
Dad wasn’t afraid of big ideas. Dream big, achieve big.
They weren’t perfect. They made some mistakes. They had weaknesses that have affected their children.
But I know that they did the best they could. That’s as much as anyone can ask of their parents. I know that many people have not had these advantages. Some parents reallly don’t do their best.
So I’m grateful that I was born of goodly parents. They have blessed my life forever.