Happy is the husband of a good wife; the number of his days will be doubled. A loyal wife brings joy to her husband, and he will complete his years in peace. A good wife is a great blessing; she will be granted among the blessings of the man who fears the Lord. Whether rich or poor, his heart is content, and at all times his face is cheerful…
There are two things that stand out … our trips back to New Jersey and Mom’s introduction to the world of publishing.
Mom always felt it was a lot of work to get everything and everybody ready for a road trip. So whenever I suggested it, she was less than eager to go. But we usually went anyway. One time it was in our drafty VW bus. We always tried to travel at night so you kids would sleep most of the way.
We (I) decided one Thanksgiving to head back east. It was a terrible idea. You kids were cranky and the weather was miserable. But I insisted – over your mother’s objections – and off we went. It got pretty nasty and I decided to pull off at one of the McDonald stops just outside Chicago. We went up the incline sideways … had some burgers and fries … and headed back home with Mom just shaking her head with that all too familiar “I told you so” look.
We also made a trip in Mike’s father’s RV. I had a conference in Rochester, but I figured we would drive to New Jersey, park in my Mom and Dad’s driveway and you guys could visit while I was at the conference. Then we would head down to Florida and make a vacation of it. Mom was on board … although a bit apprehensive about the agenda.
Of course, nothing went right. Somewhere in Pennsylvania we sprung a leak. The generator kept tripping. Mileage was non-existent. But she was a trooper, not once saying I told you so as I doled out check after check for unexpected repairs.
After the conference we headed south and stayed at South of the Border and other campgrounds – quite an experience for non-campers – until we pulled into Florida, but I missed a turn and almost went off the road, Vacation style. That was worth an icy “Joooeee.”
While in Florida, I made sure everyone got up before dawn one morning to watch a sunrise. I think you guys slept, but Mom and I were awake and it was awesome. Mom often commented she had seen a lot of sunsets, but never a sunrise until that day.
There is still something about a sunrise – or sunset – that brings a sense of awe. It’s ironic, just before she took her turn for the worse, we were talking about going to the Jersey shore to watch the sun come up over the ocean. While we didn’t make it while she was alive, I’m glad we went down to Seaside to watch God’s power in action after she died. It was picture perfect and I know Mom’s spirit was there with me as the sun rose from the horizon and illuminated the rolling waves.
To be continued …
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Whatever you’re going through right now, just keep going. Tears may flow in the night, but joy comes in the morning — Psalm 30:5