June 19 holds special significance for me, especially this year. I married the love of my life June 19, 1958. I was old – NOT. I thought I was very mature but actually was only fifteen. These days my sweet husband could be arrested for marrying “a child.” The naysayers were really surprised when our young marriage survived and flourished. We had been blessed with three wonderful sons by the time I reached twenty. Steve set the pattern as a loving father to our boys. Our love grew for each other with every passing year. We had been married 55 years when Steve went to Heaven in December 2014. I will always remember how God showered our young marriage with great blessings and how those blessings continued throughout our years together.
My dad responded when we told him of our plans to marry, “Well, I’d say something about it, but I committed the same crime myself one day.” He and my mom were married for some 75 years.
This year Father’s Day also falls on June 19 also, and I would be remiss if I failed to tell about some of my dad’s antics. He was forever the prankster and comic. One of the first comment I get from anyone who knew him is “Mr. Hugh was so funny.” I enjoyed MOST of his humor, but as he aged, he lost any inhibitions he ever had. (My doctor son explained to me that the part of the brain that controls such things deteriorates first.)
I recently went for my check-up to the same doctor I’ve been seeing for the past thirty-three years. We reminisced about the fact that he had treated my mom, my dad and my sister Sylvia. I reminded him that they are all in Heaven now. Then I quipped; “Now you and I are in a race to see which one will outlast the other.”
I didn’t remind him of the first time I brought my mom and dad in for a check-up, hoping he had forgotten it. My dad had cooperated and had not said anything to say something to make me cringe until we were almost ready to leave. He said, “Doc, you’re from India, aren’t you? You’ve asked me a bunch of questions; can I ask you one?”
“Certainly, Mr. Cochran.” He was still in his professional doctor mode and I’m sure he thought Dad’s question would be a medical one. WRONG!
“I’ve heard people over there worship cows. Is that so?”
My doctor was very kind and respectful to him. Unabashed, he commented, “Mr. Cochran, in India we respect all life.
Daddy opened his mouth to say more, but I interrupted him and said, “We’ve got to go now,” as I was pulling him out the door.
Another embarrassing moment happened when I took my parents to visit my sister’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery. We stayed in a luxurious hotel nearby. When we were leaving, we stepped on the elevator, and the only person on it was a very large, dignified black man. He towered over Daddy. My dad didn’t have a prejudiced bone in his body, but was naïve as to terms that are offensive to blacks. Dad started a conversation with any stranger he bumped into. He immediately grabbed the man’s huge bicep and said, “Boy, I bet you’re a lot of help to your momma. You’re a biggun’. How much do you weigh?” Daddy meant the entire exchange just as a friendly encounter, and apparently the stranger recognized it as such or respected my dad’s age. He was very polite and showed no resentment. I simply hoped there was a trapped door in the elevator which would either consume me or dad before we reached the lobby. My dad never had a course in race relations, but he loved everybody and expected the same from them. I loved my dad, warts and all, and remember the joy and laughter, AND embarrassment he has brought to our family.
Today, the old hymn “There Shall be Showers of Blessings” comes to mind as I recall the memories of the loving husband and the funny dad God blessed me with. Thank you, Jesus.