Looking back over my life, I’ve been so Blessed, and I have to admit that for many years, far too many I’m afraid, I never realized nor gave credit to God for those Blessings.
One that was so crucial … I had loving, caring parents.
In the past, I’ve told you many things about life that Dad taught me, but now, I want to share some of the things, I learned from Mother.
First, while I didn’t realize it at the time … she taught me Grace and Kindness. I look around and see both missing in the lives of so many others.
She also taught me practical things.
For instance, in my junior year of high school, she said, Follow me.
We went into the living room where she had set up the ironing board; she liked to watch her afternoon soaps while doing that chore.
She said, In a couple of years, when you go off to college, you need to know how to do this.
Mom, I know how to iron; all you do is turn on the iron and press over the clothes.
She smiled, Yes, and you’ll end up pressing in wrinkles.
She laid one of my shirts on the end of the board and then she took the Coke bottle she had emptied, filled with water and capped it with a stopper that had holes in it.
She sprinkled over part of the shirt, placed it just right and began to iron.
She went slower than normal so that I could follow how she pressed, turned, sprinkled the shirt; when she was done she carefully placed it on a hanger and handed me a shirt.
I could hear her suppressing a giggle as I struggled just to get the shirt into the right position, and then when I started sprinkling … well, I made it rain. The shirt was so wet that Mom took it and handed me another one so I could start over.
This time I was careful with the sprinkling, but then I was slow with the iron and soon scorched a section of the shirt; the good thing, it was the tail which would ( or should ) be tucked in … so no serious damage.
Over time, I got better and soon I was ironing all my shirts and some of Dad’s.
Mom taught me how to sew on a button, and to my knowledge, I was the only guy in my senior class who had a thimble, needle and thread in with his socks and underwear.
One day, I came home and heard Marty Robbins on our record player.
Mom called me into the living room and said, It’s time you learn to dance with a girl.
Mom, I know how to dance.
She smiled, Doing the Twist and jerking all around and never touching a girl … is not dancing with a girl.
She had a point.
Take off your shoes; I don’t want my feet crushed.
She took my hand and put it on her waist and then held my other hand and said, I’ll lead to begin with. Just follow me.
I tried, but it was not easy and more than once I did step on her toes. Staring at her feet didn’t help.
Finally, I got enough of the feel to look up.
Then, she said, You lead, and I’ll follow you.
Suddenly, it got difficult all over again, but in time, I got better ….somewhat better.
For the next few afternoons, when I would come home from school, she would be ready for us to dance.
Even now while writing this story, I can hear Marty Robbins singing “A White Sport Coat and A Pink Carnation” … and see myself dancing with my Mother.