The Year 1976 Speaks Specifically.


 My husband and I…Christmas 2016

The year 1976 was a maze of changes for me. Changes that I wanted. Changes that I anticipated. Challenges that I looked forward to facing. Challenges that I never thought existed. Hopes that were boundless. Hopes that I wasn’t sure how to specify. I just knew that I had a multitude of high hopes. I simply did not know where to find them.

In 1976, my husband and I married…a beautiful wedding with all of our friends and relatives. We were so happy and we are still so happy.

We have weathered storms like we had never previously faced…that we were certainly not prepared to face.

We lost our son when he was only 26 as I have mentioned in several posts. I know that my readers might be a bit weary of hearing about this specific event.

An earlier storm occurred when our daughter was diagnosed with spinal meningitis when she was 18 months old. She became ill very suddenly and the pediatrician (our regular doctor was out of town) first misdiagnosed the illness. He told us that she simply had an ear infection and we went home with medicine. Within four hours, she was totally lethargic and we were rushing to the children’s hospital. She was very close to being in a coma and we did not know if she would make it through the night. With the care of outstanding physicians, she was home from the hospital after two weeks. A miracle!

We have weathered storms like we had never previously faced…that we were certainly not prepared to face.

As the years progressed, we both lost our parents. My husband’s father left us before our daughter was born and we lost my parents six weeks apart when she was only two. My husband’s mother lived until both of our children were almost grown. Still, my mother-in-law was ill for the better part of two years. We lost most of our aunts and uncles as well as other relatives. Life changed as life is supposed to do. And we specifically did our best to accept the changes.

We have weathered storms like we had never previously faced…that we were certainly not prepared to face.

As I was recently going through a box filled with papers that I wanted to save, I was thinking about the hoped for joys and inevitable hardships in life. Ironically, I found the following few paragraphs that I wrote shortly after we married and I moved with my husband to a much bigger city. I suppose that writing always made me understand and accept my feelings. Writing has always been such a catharsis for me.

The paragraphs relate to my feelings about leaving my family and friends…about making new friends…about waiting for acceptance into a community. I did make friends…I did have a good job…I was reluctant to reach out. I learned, but have faced similar feelings since I quit teaching school this year.

Reading my words from 1976 made me realize the very magnitude of facing all that life places upon us. It made me realize the inner strength that we were given early in our lives. My words may seem naive. I was 26, almost 27 and facing change for the first time.

We have weathered storms like we had not previously faced…that we were certainly not prepared to face.



My words from 1976…

Small town people…arise and join me in saluting a vanishing species. Let us stop and remember what we were…who we were…why we were…before the big city lights caught us in their pseudo-magical spell.

Let us recall the days without traffic jams…when Central Expressway and the West Freeway at 7:45 a.m. were merely images of a faraway never-never-land. Let us recall when we lived close enough to home to drop by for a leisurely lunch…that was before we realized that tacos were gourmet fare. Let us recall clear fresh air filled with clear fresh voices of friendliness. Back then, most everyone was on a first name basis…even strangers on a downtown sidewalk would tip their hat in greeting. It’s a bet that they weren’t trying to pick your pocket or grab your purse.

Let us recall a closeness and kinship to people that somehow is a little vacant from the lives of most Big City People. To be sure, the majority of folks have their own little “groups”. But how can you possibly reach out to the multitudes when the multitudes are so scattered and so mobile?

Oh, don’t get me wrong…I love the city…I love the skyline view…I love the diversity of people living here…I love the variety of activities to join in…I love the fine restaurants…I love the educational opportunities…I even love fighting the mobs at half-price sales.

I’ve made friends here. I’ve found a suitable job with a growing company. I’ve joined a wonderful church with an admirable outreach program. I’ve even taken a tour of the Chamber of Commerce, gone to the rodeo, shopped at NorthPark, found the airport without getting lost and subscribed to a newspaper. I’m planting some new roots…I hope they grow…I honestly pray that they grow.

But, my heart remains with the classic simplicity of life in the small town. I’ll admit that I’m a bit unsophisticated. That doesn’t mean that I’m less than intelligent or that I can’t understand the pressures of a competitive market. That doesn’t mean that I don’t read Texas Monthly or that I’m not interested in the stock market. That doesn’t mean that I’m less than qualified to fill a position of need in the community.

I may be a little too down-to-earth…I may be a little too honest…I may laugh at different jokes…I may relish the quiet side of life a bit more than most of you.

But come on, you Big City you, I sort of expect you to be friends with me.


Fort Worth

As it turned out, the city was friends with me. As we faced the challenges of our new life, we did keep the high hopes and we figured out how to find new high hopes…how to make the most of high hopes. We learned how to accept change and we are still learning how to accept change. I know now that being uncomfortable with change is really normal. I know that our faith carried us through the trials of life and the wondrous joy of life. 

We have weathered storms like we had not previously faced…that we were certainly not prepared to face.

I know now that we were far more prepared than we knew…for we believed in something that we could not see. 

We believed in the power of prayer.


4 thoughts on “The Year 1976 Speaks Specifically.

  1. This is beautiful! Your last sentence “We believed in the power of prayer.” says it all. I do not know how people make it through life’s storms without God. I would be so lost.
    May you and Mike have a blessed 2017.


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