Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Taking a trip down memory lane

Just recently, we have planned a get together for some childhood friends with Anne and me. Jane and Gail Patterson lived beside us for 6 years and our families became best of friends. From 4th grade until 10th grade, we were either at their house or they were at ours... When their Dad got transferred back to Richmond in 1970 , life went on, but we always stayed in contact. Years came.... life happened.... we girls all married, my Daddy died in July, 1974 and their Daddy died that fall in October, both way too young.... we all had children, watched our children grow and marry and have their own children... then the unthinkable happened.... July, 2010, after our Mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, their Mother had a stroke and died shortly afterwards. In December when Mother passed away, we all were in the same chapter once again...... no parents here on earth with us. We cried over the phone, we grieved with each other and always knew one day we would be able to get together and give those much needed hugs to each other. Well, now... it is just weeks away from that much anticipated get together and we are all excited... thinking about our upcoming trip,   lead to yesterday .... Anne and I both have closets of Mother`s things that we need to go through and we thought we would start going through some of the boxes looking for pictures of the Pattersons and us to take with us to share with the girls...

I knew it was probably going to be a time with some tears as we saw her things.... all packed away, her life, all in boxes. We had saved so many special things and knew one day, we would go through them. We only went through 4 or 5 boxes... we were able to let go of some things.. but only after we had looked at each one and read them. If they were special enough for Mother to keep, they at least deserved to be read and  to remember the person who sent them..... So many of our sweet friends, had reached out to Mother with cards and notes. Some, she didn`t even know but because they were our friends, they knew what she was going through and wanted to let her know that they were thinking about her and praying for her.  What I didn`t expect to happen, and neither did Anne, was a glimpse into our sweet Daddy`s heart. He has been gone for almost 39 years, and you would think all tears would have been shed by now...

He was only 45 when he died of cancer, so young, we missed so many years with him. We have memories, but as the years come and go, they fade a bit... We never doubted how much he loved our Mother. I only really remember him getting mad or angry at us when we said something disrespectful to Mother. I know, hard to believe that sweet Anne and Jane would ever do that, right?!!! But he did not tolerate any disrepect toward her. We saw that, and we tried not to cross that line but only when we found this note from him, did it dig into our hearts, how sweet, thoughtful, loving and considerate  his actions always were, and what a love story they shared.

It was a little envelope, we almost missed it..., literally almost 3 inches by 4 inches.


You can see the date, 1950. It was sweet that our Grandmother had not only kept the note but the envelope it was in. It must have been such a joy and encouragement when she received it. I could imagine her reading it to our Papa and the pride that they must surely have felt as they realized an answered prayer that every parent has for their child..

When mother was a young girl, like this picture, they had already started praying for the man God will choose for their daughter..... Don`t we all ?! and fast forward years later, after their little princess had grown up and gotten married to her Prince, ... the letter....

"Dear Mom,
  How do you like my choice of stationery? Really though, I had meant to write you and Pop a thank you note ever since we were married. Just a note to thank you for the most precious gift a mother and daddy ever gave anyone, your daughter. I`ve never been as happy, never even knew you could be as happy as I am now and I know the years will only make it more wonderful. Weezie is more than anyone could dream of and I just pray that I can make her proud of me and maybe someday be a little worthy of her love. Thank you.
Mom, I`m counting on your going to Tuscaloosa next Tuesday with us. I`d like for both of my mothers to be in the audience when I, and a couple of other thousand, get our diplomas. So please try to go with us. Guess I`ll close for now. Hope all of you are fine and give the rest my love.
Love,
Bill"

Through tears, Anne and I weeped for the man he was, for years we lost with him, for our children not getting to know their grandfather, but most of all... our tears were of pride, that God chose him for our Daddy. What a special, thoughtful man he was.. and we feel a bit closer to him today, as God gave us a glimpse into his heart....

You can see the love on their wedding day, as he looks at her, with those thoughts that he put into words in his thank you note to her parents....

This is perhaps our sweetest memory with him... they came to our house to take this picture for the paper for Father`s Day.. I don`t remember why but we made the paper that year...





It was a great trip down memory lane for Anne and me. Many more stories we found but  this one about Daddy is our favorite!
Have a great day,
Love,
Jane

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jane, how very very sweet! Thanks for sharing! Cat

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