Are your parents still alive and how well did you get to know them?
Your Mom and Dad are your role models and the source of how other relationships form in your life. Pretty important and you are lucky if you spent a lot of time with them.
They made you, love and nurtured you. Know you, can help explain things that come up in life that don’t seem in focus. Or that you don’t understand why. They covered the same ground years ago. You go through many of the same places in life that you sense, know they were here but years ago.
When I got home to Drews Lake last night, after supper I headed in a different direction than the norm. Getting out of your routine, shaking it up is wise in all you do to have new experiences. Bump in to old friends that maybe you have not seen for awhile. And to catch up.
I took a meandering path from Chickadee to Moose to Loon Lane through the woods, along the lake shore to head in the direction of Tall Timber Lodge.
I did not get that far and saw a light on at the home of Jimmy and Louann Ritchie. They were old neighbors for years across from my parents’ US Rt 2 Maine farm home.
Jimmy has had a heck of a bought with shingles that affected the sight in one eye.
Multiple ablation procedures for cardiac arrhythmia. One time the machine quit causing a rain out. Another a blood clot caused, added, not needed drama. But last night he seemed his old smiling, full of stories and enthusiasm humor self. And Louann, a Southern Aroostook school system teacher was glad I dropped in to visit with her four cats, all adoptees from the shelter!
The stories the two shared with me about how much they miss, enjoyed living next to my parents was heart warming. Dad would sneak over to bum a cigarette in his on and off again wagon tug of war to quit. Louann could relate as her struggle but success was equally tough. Louann and her two daughters enjoyed watching the Durham cows Mom and Dad raised.
Coming over to witness a calf birth on the what was always the coldest day of the year it seemed.
And helping to round up cows that got out because of a Maine moose with poor eye sight charging through to court and spark with one of the cows. He hoped.
Louann remembered Dad as a dreamer, deep thinker with a mind never idle and always churning with new ideas. She said my Mom was the governor that held him down to Earth with his tendency to soar and want to try new things. She was more moderate, disciplined and studied the new endeavor more fully, with more practical reason than Dad. They complemented each other well. And each knew how lucky each was. Showed affection in so many ways growing up that the four boys beamed to witness.
Louann agreed with me that Mom was Dad’s greatest asset.
Because besides his talents, intelligence, he had lots of insecurities from years of growing up in a troubled childhood in a drama filled alcoholic family. He lacked patience. Mom did not fault him for these scars but because he shared all, trusted her, she was his tender loving salve.
Trusting others to open up and bare your soul has to happen in a relationship. And it can not until you examine, accept and see what happened and why. You have to take inventory of what’s what. When you ask God to come in to your heart you learn so much. Everything, I mean everything gets exposed, a full review. Then start the hard work of understanding, cutting the chains. Purging of the bad. Replacement with inner peace, joy and acceptance to be better. New habits, priorities. Once the kids are up and out, you have tons of time their overbooked lives did not allow.
Not for awhile, forever on your knees.
You do once you know the truth, it sets you free. And you become an open book, testifying on your feet after being on your knees to help others making the same mistakes. But now armed with the why. Don’t sweep it under the carpet. Face the problems head on I have learned.
Mom had patience, was the real back bone with true love and respect for Dad but all happening, ripening like fruit on the vine. Slowly over sixty years of marriage. I am in awe of someone with long marriages where the two grew up together, went through all the same experiences. No gaps, pauses, missing sections in the life film reel. Who would not want that type of love, marriage, commitment?
Mom stepped up to remove dad’s slack and never threw his weaknesses back in his face in anger.
Did not beat him down to manipulate him or keep him down. He would not have easily been subdued. He always quickly landed on his feet with her help.
Back to his usual hopeful optimistic nature as a Maine potato farmer for 24 years, then a owner of a fleet of trucks, then a real estate appraisal career. That Mom helped make a success as his equal partner who worked just as hard as he did.
Dad did not get exploited by Mom and they worked together, not competed. But again, they started out very young, after a whirlwind short romance as he went off to war as a B 24 bomber tail gunner. The two wrote love letters daily and that deep love is what helped them go through the struggles every marriage has.
My parent’s struggles with poor potato years, financial tight spots because Dad expanded too quickly at the wrong time. Plus raising four boys to improve them, prepare them for life. It all made them one, working in unity, with oneness. They built the relationship and did everything together. Not just after work or weekends. But during the workday.
Stopping for coffee breaks while the sprayer was filling for the crops.
Mom taking supper out when he had spring planting or fall harvest when the weather meant better get it done right now. Not to wait or put it off. She grew up on a farm and understood what being a farmer’s wife meant.
You might think opposites would not attract because of being so different. But those differences are like extra colors in missing places in each person’s crayon box. Ones you are not born with, can not buy and only come from others with different colors you need. And you need to appreciate the strengths they have that you lack. And for affirmation, the same pride and respect, appreciation that helps the other mate beam, shine, do even better. Try harder.
My parent’s love for each other, for the family and the farm they grew up on showed me what a solid marriage takes with lots of work. I am not lazy but being gung ho is not enough. You have to surrender, listen.
Do not what you think the other mate needs, but what they tell you they need and want through communication. Listen to them before it is too late. Spend lots of time together and don’t let anything build up, fester, go untended to keep the love light shining.
I learn more from other people’s lessons than the trial and error method on my own.
Open up, share, communicate, connect with friends, family around you that you may have been too busy with kids, work to reach out to. Make time. See the healthy importance to fit it in.
Be willing to listen, contribute to grow together. We carry around many needless frustrations, setbacks and heartaches if you do not. I am looking forward to my next visit with family and friends that kids and work just did not allow enough time to connect with. Maine, famlies, friends, mates, other people are more important here.