Quite a Pair

I’ve been thinking of my parents a bit more than usual, and I know it’s because this is the weekend of their deaths, two days and two years apart. EVERYDAY when I awaken, I thank my Heavenly Father for the examples they set and the sacrifices they made, for they were indeed “goodly parents.” This weekend various and sundry family members will gather, and as we do I know thoughts of John and Margie will be on all of our minds.

About a week ago, I dashed off an email to my children about all of their grandparents and what it seemed to me to be some of their most obvious attributes.  I even added a few things that others said so that it wouldn’t be so totally biased. This morning I’m going to cut and paste the parts about my parents without embellishment or editing of any type. (That’s meant as a disclaimer to any misspelled words or fragments).

I’m going to start with Mama for a couple of reasons, the more important being that she gave me life. Without her, I wouldn’t be here, and neither would you. The other reason is “Ladies first.”

Marjorie Ann. Whenever people mention her, they talk about how pretty she was, how kind and gracious…and also how sassy. And she did have a sassy streak, as you gals well know. She was a wonderful, loving mother who expected us to walk the line, and if we didn’t, we knew there’d be a consequence. Even now I can remember standing in the bathroom waiting for her to come in with a switch from outside. Ouch. I’d look up at the window and wonder how to escape. Alas, it was too high, and I was too small. I could write dozens of things and go off on all sorts of tangents, but what I’m thinking about right now is that she was a homemaker par excellance (French spelling?). She prepared breakfast every morning and supper every evening (at 6:00), and it was always tasty and nutritious. Meat, veggies, bread, and lots of rice. And she was a wonderful seamstress. When I was two years old, she made a dress for me that was completely hand stitched. Impressive, huh? She also loved reading about Indians (Native Americans if we’re being PC). Did I mention that she was quite a lady?

John Marlon. People who talk about him say that he was good looking, quiet, smart, and a little eccentric. Well, they might not actually use the word eccentric; they might say “different.” He was a great father, and we all four tried so hard to please him, never knowing whether we did or not. However, I actually saw him get choked up when he saw my human relations book, and I knew then that it just wasn’t in him to be as demonstrative and affectionate as some other men. Still waters run deep, doncha know? And lest I forget, he wrote the book on the Protestant work ethic…rain, snow, sleet, hail, in sickness and in health, out the door he went to earn the $$ for his family. Another thing that occurs to me tonight is that he insisted that we appreciate the food Mama had prepared. He taught me how to drive a straight drive, and that was an anxiety-producing experience since the Corvair (sp?) would lurch and cut off all the time. What sweet bliss when I finally caught on.

I’m hoping my sibs will read this and add their comments.Come on, you guys, the pressure’s on. And I’d  enjoy reading about anyone else’s parents too.

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

11 thoughts on “Quite a Pair”

  1. You know you should add this to a family history book with pictures.
    My grandmother did this for her parents and I love to read what she though of them, since I never met them. Just a thought…

  2. That’s a great idea…one that I’m going to pass along to one of my daughters. She’s ultra creative in photography, scrapbooking, writing, and everything else I can think of right now. She’s even begun to sew, and it makes me marvel and ask, “Is she really MY daughter?”

  3. Oh I love it! if she comes up with some great ideas let me know…This is one area of interest to me. I love to do my genealogy and scrapbooking! It’s slightly addictive.

    And that is cute that your not sure if she is yours!

  4. Thank you very much! I’m going to check out this interesting looking site tonight…and will be visiting yours again too.

    P.S. Yesterday both of my daughters were visiting me, and as we sat in Relief Society together, I thought about splendid it was that we could be part of the same organization despite being from different generations. Seated with us were two relatives in their 80’s, and all around us were young sisters with babies, single gals, middle aged matrons (although I don’t like to think of myself as matronly!), and so forth.

  5. Thanks. They were fantastic people. The last thing I told my mother before she died was that as long as her granddaughters lived (two of them were standing around the bed that October afternoon), she would live because of the generational thing…the DNA. It could have been my imagination, but I think I caught a glimpse of a smile.

  6. dad and i were just talking about granny on sunday when we went to the O club. i actually wore her black, slinky, polka dotted pants mom had gotten her from petite sophisticate a long time ago. dad was commenting on how i walked like her, and how proud she would be of me. i remember seeing her on sundays at 511 wearing those pants just like it was yesterday.

  7. Thanks so much for making a comment about Granny. Your dad is so right: You do have her walk! I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed that before. I don’t remember those pants, so you’ll have to wear them again when I’m around. Ah, good old 511…lots of good memories there, huh?

  8. You are so right that John and Margie were parents that truly loved and cared for our family. They were always there for all you children and then when us “in-laws” came along they loved and cared for us as their own. I remember when I got engaged to David, before I was “in” in family, Margie gave me a handmade dress to wear to one of my parties…what a Great Dress!!:) It makes me smile when I remember wearing it that October Sunday afternoon. Margie always loved us and gave of herself to us…ALWAYS. What a great Mom! I truly miss her, although I catch glimpses of her when Jayne smiles, Mike turns, Ann laughs, or Dave ponders (his eyes remind me most)…and…when Sarah Beth walks in front of me:)!! Margie does live on through her children and grandchildren. Life is such a generational thing.
    John, too, was always supportive even though he had a difficult time releasing the words to express his deep intermost thoughts. He always provided for and protected his family. He always commanded and expected each of them to respect and honor their father and mother. He taught them that hard work was good and that they could do whatever they put their minds to. He loved them and us with all he had in him.
    I am so very grateful to John and Margie Padgett, my parents, for all the good gifts they gave us. Thank you, God, for their lives and for a time to especially REMEMBER them. Let us never forget.

  9. Becky, You’re a wonderful sister, just like Lisa! My brothers knew what they were doing when they somehow talked you and Lisa into marrying them. Tee Hee. I know they’ll LOVE reading that.

    Seriously, thanks for your wonderful comments. What a tribute to the two of them. I’m sitting here all emotional, and I think it’s because of what you said AND how you said it. I’ll have to smile more often now, Mike will probably start turning more, and Ann will undoubtedly share that great laugh with us more often. And Dave??? Yes, he’s a ponderer, and the “look” he bestows on others is just like Daddy. When he reads your comments, he’ll probably go into the “deep-thinking mode.”

    P.S. Your parents were pretty phenomenal too! After all, they produced you and your sisters. And lest I forget, my handsome young nephews are also part of their progeny. Life goes on!

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