A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was
new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was
fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him
to live with our family.
The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me
into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never questioned
his place in our family.
In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother,
Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger
sister, gave me an opportunity to play 'big brother' and develop
the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors
-Mom taught me to love the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.
But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most
fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily
conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for
hours each evening.
If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew
it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and
seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw
were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched.
He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and
me to our first major league baseball game. He was always
encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements
to introduce us to several movie stars.
My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular.
The stranger was an incessant talker Dad didn't seem to mind-but
sometimes Mom would quietly get up- while the rest of us were
enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places- go to her
room, read her Bible and pray.
I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.
You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions.
But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity,
for example, was not allowed in our house-not from us, from our
friends, or adults.
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A Letter From God Motherhood Will Change Your Life Smoke Signals
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