Blog 2318 – 02.27.2022
He Made His Mama Smile
I have mentioned more than once that like the ole song about a young man wanting a girl just like the girl that married dear ole dad, I kept trying till I found her. My mom was not often a “happy camper” but I recall she did tell me that the happiest time in her life was when she was pregnant. I also recall stories about mom fainting a lot when she was pregnant and in public places like on city buses and on the down town streets of Chattanooga while shopping.
Linda and I met again later in life after both of us had had many disappointing affairs of the heart. We had met briefly in college almost twenty years before. We actually met again at a reunion at a nearby church associated with the Bible College that we had briefly attended at the same time. I was beginning my first year and Linda had already completed her Associate’s Degree and was taking an Art class two nights a week after work. A mutual friend introduced us in the campus rec-hall/soda shop called Pop’s Place. I thought she was lovely and she still is.
As I said, we met again years later both quite a bit wiser and somewhat skeptical of the things that we had once believed so strongly, perhaps even romantic love. After a short Sunday evening church service there was an even shorter college alumni gathering which made the whole thing seem like a ploy to enlist workers for the church currently being pastored by a couple who were former professors of the Bible College that had relocated from Houston to Oklahoma City some years before.
I had attended the alumni gathering with a friend and his wife and my friend’s cousin and her husband had also attended. The two couples wanted to go out to eat afterwards so I tagged along as did Linda, we being the only two unattached participants. We were seated next to one another and the conversation lead to experiences of the heart and I exaggerated, but not much, offering that I had married every woman that I had ever slept with. Linda on the other hand had never married so she saw my words as a sort of challenge. It was a pleasant meal and a fine ending to an other wise disappointing college reunion.
After the break up of my third marriage I had stayed with my friends, that had taken me to the reunion, for a few months before getting my own apartment. A few days after the reunion and intriguing meal conversation my friend’s wife Connie received a call from Linda asking if she knew how to get in touch with Larry. It has been a joke all these years that Linda got my name wrong and that Connie, never the brightest bulb on the tree, did not even notice, but gladly gave Linda my phone number. So she called me and we talked and decided to see one another again.
It had been years since I had dated and I recall even asking my supervisor at work for suggestions as to where I might take her. He wisely suggested a western style steak place preferably with a live band and a dance floor. Dancing is a wonderful opportunity to hold a pretty woman in your arms and to see if is a good fit for the both of you. Alas, Linda had other plans that Friday night. Her sister Sarah was having a wake in her home for a girlfriend’s husband who had tragically died. Linda asked if I would like to accompany her, saying there would be lots of free food and drink, and that we could talk. It was a very inexpensive first date that January 31, 1988, but I made up for it two weeks later on our first Valentine’s Day dinner together.
I kept my apartment through two six-month leases before moving out, but was hardly ever there. I was with Linda. We lay together at night listening to love songs on a Houston radio station that specialized in taking requests and playing love songs. One of our favorites was Bonnie Raitt’s, Nick of Time. We both believed it’s words were true for the both of us, that we had indeed finally found love and in the nick of time. A year and a half later we were married, with Linda losing a bet that she had made with herself that she would bed me, but never wed me. And then along came Jon.
Like my mother Linda was the happiest that I have ever known her while she was pregnant and our baby boy Jonathan, now an almost thirty-two year old handsome and intelligent man has caused his mom to smile a million times as I did my own mother. Linda had gestational diabetes when pregnant with Jonathan, but smiled every time she had to prick her finger throughout the day to check her blood. I hope Jay gets to make his mom smile again real soon.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Nick of Time
I have made Linda smile a few times too and I hope I get to again real soon.