Ray and I look forward to watching our son perform “One Soldier’s Story: A Tennessean in World War II” next week in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, at all three events. Thank you to those of you who asked if a video would be available. John did a webinar-style performance yesterday, specifically for people who cannot come in person. He did a wonderful job. It has whetted my appetite to see it live next week. I encourage any of you who can make one of the live performances to do so. It is a powerful program, filled with real life stories from World War II and fabulous photos, in America in 1941-1943 and in Europe in 1944-1945.
I believe this program will have a powerful impact on the children and adults who can see it in person. They can see how a godly and faithful man handled World War II in a godly and faithful way. They can learn about his prayers and hopes for the future.
I have listed the times and places below. Here is a link for those of you who do not live close enough to see the program in person. You can watch it anytime that is convenient to you, but next Thursday on the actual 75th anniversary of D-Day would be a great time to watch.
We have been thrilled at the response in Tennessee so far. Ray’s hometown newspaper has already published one story and plans to do another. Our little local cable station plans to air the program live next Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
Ray and I relished every story and picture as we sat side by side watching yesterday. We loved remembering Granddaddy Wes’ stories and seeing and hearing John tell them. Side by side, we shared the memories and our son’s telling them — a great combination.
About fifteen minutes into the program, I got interrupted with a phone call. It was such an unusual call that our team member who answered decided to interrupt me. The call was from Elaine, a longtime friend of my mother. I took the call, listened briefly, told her I would call her back, and hurried back to John’s presentation.
After the webinar, I called Elaine back. We talked for almost half an hour. I have met Elaine a few times because she used to work with my mother during Mother’s Walmart career from age 60 to age 79! After decades of running her own seamstress business, Mother started working in the fabric department at Walmart while continuing her business. Have I ever said that my mother is an amazing woman?
Elaine simply wanted to see how Mother was doing. She wondered if Mother is ever able to come back to Ashland City. Sadly, she isn’t really able to do that. She told me about Mother coming to visit her when she was sick one time. She said that after Mother left, her husband said, “She is an intelligent woman.” Elaine told about Mother making her a dirt cake one time with gummy worms inside and about how Mother laughed and laughed about it. I used to love it when Mother laughed uncontrollably! Elaine talked about their working together at Walmart. She talked about Mother doing crafts and quilting. The conversation reminded me of stories Mother used to tell me about Elaine.
I was sure that Mother would remember Elaine and that she would love a short chat. I woke Mother up from her nap on the loveseat where she spends her days to give it a try. Mother was in a deep sleep and all she could muster was a hello. Still, Mother nodded to me that she remembered Elaine, and Elaine got to hear Mother say, “Hello.”
When Elaine and I hung up, I walked into Ray’s office feeling so blessed. While remembering Ray’s dad, I got a call from someone who remembered my mother the way she used to be. God was especially kind to me yesterday. These are my takeaways for you and for me.
- Cherish every moment with your older relatives — parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents — while you can.
- Make sure your children know their relatives — really know them — and spend enough time to make many memories.
- Think of someone you know who has lost a loved one and tell that person stories you remember about the person she loved. Knowing someone else remembers feels very good.
We can only cherish memories if we have them. Our children can only cherish memories if they have them. Now is the time to make them!
And, if you are curious about dirt cake, here’s a recipe. For more fun, add some gummy worms in the “dirt.” That is the not-so-healthy way I made mine about 30 years ago, but here’s a healthy option for dirt pudding cups. If I were making it today, I might double or triple this recipe and put it all in one flower pot. This is a fun dessert.
As a matter of fact, I’m the one who introduced dirt cake to my mother. I made her one for her birthday when our children were young and she and Daddy came to see us in Illinois. After her birthday meal, I came out with a plastic pot with a bunch of silk flowers stuck in the “dirt.” I told her that it was her present; and then, using a clean (probably brand new) trowel, I started dishing the “dirt” out of the pot onto her plate. It is one of my favorite memories of Mother laughing uncontrollably.
Let’s not forget: Make memories today; cherish them tomorrow.
Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.
Wednesday, June 5
American Legion Post 19
812 Nashville Highway
Columbia, Tennessee (Wes’ hometown!)
Thursday, June 6
Gainesboro Church of Christ
313 S. Murray Street
Thursday, June 6
Peachtree Learning Center
402 North Walnut Avenue
Admission is free to all performances.