IT’S ALL GOOD !
I’ve been thinking about what to write for my next blog post. I had a lot of fun writing the last two, about the “Teenage Years – Growing up in Greenwood, MS”, and the “sequel”, I guess you could call it, “A Day That Will Live in Infamy”, about the notorious “blowout” party we had at the Legion Hut, in 1963. Perhaps much more fun that the actual writing of those two pieces, was reading all the wonderful comments posted by readers. I had no idea I would reach that many folks, and that so many of them would respond with such richly detailed accountings of their recollections of those times as well.
It’s been about 6 or 8 weeks since I posted those, so I guess it’s time for another offering, to fill up the blank space that seems to keep calling my name. I told myself when I launched this blog, that it was just an experiment, something to entertain myself primarily, and that I would not feel any pressure to post anything on a regular basis, but at the same time, the response I have gotten has been very gratifying, and it’s nice to know that somebody reads this stuff, so I DO feel a little obligation to keep the thing fresh, so to speak.
As I was thinking of a topic for this one, it came to mind that I’ve had a pretty good run over the years, and some really good things have happened to me.(No, I am not entering a morbid phase; not getting ready to die anytime soon – at least I hope not.). So I decided to take a look at some of that, if for no other reason than to refresh my own memory (which has gotten pretty foggy here of late, especially the short term areas of my brain). And hopefully, this won’t be a long, drawn out, boring diatribe of every event that has happened in my life, just some of the highlight reel stuff.
I will immediately get off on the wrong foot, and earn a two week vacation in the dog house, if I don’t start with my wife Rebecca (yeah, she reads my blog too)!. We had our 43rd wedding anniversary back on January 26, and as Jerry Garcia once said, “What a long, strange trip it’s been”. LOL! Indeed it has been, and I am the one who has been the beneficiary of having met her, and loved her so well, for so long. She has truly changed my life, and kept me pointed in the right direction, and kept me focused, and mostly out of trouble all these years.
Now that I have gotten my brownie points in, let’s talk about my next greatest lifetime achievements, what I like to call “Joe and Rebecca’s Greatest Hits”. Our three children, Keirn, Power, and Rebecca Durden (known to most all as RD.)
I know that all parents think their kids are the smartest, prettiest, best behaved kids in the whole world. Of course I do too, but I also know that raising them has been an education for me and Rebecca, to say the least. As I think back over the past 39 years, since we were blessed with Margaret Keirn Seawright on October 13, 1971, there are thousands and thousands of memories to recall of their three lives, both the good and the bad. The rainfall and stormy weather that has occurred only serves to make the sunny days that much warmer, brighter and sweeter, I think.
Keirn just found out this week that she has won her lengthy battle with the MS Bar Assn. and the Bar Exam Ethics Committee, having been finally granted permission to sit for the MS Bar Exam in July. It has been a long struggle, but she has shown the determination and perseverance required to come to this point, after such a long period of darkness in her life, overcoming great difficulties to arrive here at this moment. And it makes me the proudest Dad alive, to say that she is my own. It has been a long time coming, and no one has worked harder to turn her life around. She has had much help from many people, including Brother Glenn Seefeld and the wonderful folks at the First Methodist Church, where she now works as Program Director, and we are grateful for all of that, but we especially thank God for His love and guidance to her. And I think Miss Lillie Belle (our first grand daughter) may have had something to do with her reversal of misfortune as well ! It’s all good! (If she passes the Bar!)
My son Power, at age 36, has settled down in Memphis with his wife Courtney, has a good career going in the information technology field, and they have been blessed with two beautiful little girls, Annabel and Mary Sutton. Rebecca insists on driving to Memphis at least every two weeks to see them, regardless of how high gasoline gets, and that I just better learn to live with it! For a long time Rebecca and I wondered if we would ever have any grand children, when all our married friends were being so blessed years earlier than us. But as it finally came to pass, it reminded me that as the generational cycle begins another turn, what a true blessing from God children are to their parents (and grand parents), overcoming all the troubles, difficulties and expense of getting them “raised up”. I look at Power sometimes and think, that’s me, 25 years ago, except he is so much better a father than I was. He devotes every minute of his life to his wife and those two little girls. (Just won’t let them eat sugar. Maybe he could loosen up, just a little)? It’s all good!
And finally, it looks as if our baby girl RD will indeed avoid having to bear the burden of being an “old maid”, as she has finally fallen for Mr. Right at the ripe old age of 29, and they will be married on June 4th. Mr. Right is a fine young man named Matt Bishop, and Rebecca and I are so pleased that he has come into her life. He is big, strong, handsome, smart, stable, hunts and fishes, not crazy like some of the others she has brought home, and we really like him, A LOT! She is currently working full time on her Masters degree in English at Ole Miss, and he is the advertising manager for the New Albany newspaper, and they are so in love! Plans for the upcoming event are reaching a fever pitch here at our house, with my daily pleas for a budget priced wedding falling on mostly deaf ears, and what does trickle through being given mostly lip service, and my honey-do list picking up more and more runs to fetch wedding gifts from all over, most annoyingly, a weekly trip to Merigold to fetch McCarty Pottery, that cannot be allowed to accrue for two or three weeks, but must be gathered weekly! (“It’s too delicate to ship”, I am told with withering looks from both mother of the bride and bride to be).
I am seriously considering an extended 5 week trout fishing trip to my brother-in-law Bud’s house in Mt. Home, on the White River, beginning in the next day or so, and returning perhaps on the morning of the rehearsal party, June 3, to escape some of the rising female tensions around here.
But I know that as RD and Matt drive away to begin their life together, it’s not the end of the book, merely another chapter drawing to a close, and another one beginning.
There are many, many lesser blessings that have come my way in my lifetime, and I know that I have had way more than my share of them than most guys. But nothing can compare to the four blessings I have mentioned above. I am appreciative of all that I have been given, but of none more so than these that my family have given me.
IT’S ALL GOOD!!!