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My Parents – An Inspiration In Love

Posted by becky on February 26, 2011 in From the Heart, Inspiration |
Sitting in the doctor’s office today with my mom and dad I realized this post was a must.  I am so blessed to still have both of my parents with me.  Dad at age 83, Mom age 80 and both with a birthday in the near future!  Married only to each other for almost 63 years! Now that is Inspiration with a capital “I”!
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My parents with the interesting names of Leric and Juanita. You might wonder who else would have married someone with a name like that. Just kidding, no other name would fit them. Can you imagine someone at school asking, what’s your mama’s name and I reply “Juanita” and then expecting my dad to have a name like Joe they ask, what’s your father’s name, my reply “Leric” (the correct punctuation is “Lear-ick” but everyone seems to same “Lurk”). With a role of their eyes and a giggle they just say “oh”.
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You see my parents’ lives have been ones of unplanned events, some joys and some tragedies but through it all they have had each other to count on. You will better understand as I attempt to open the door of their life and let you in.
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My parents were married on June 19, 1948. Mom 18 and Dad 21getting married by mom’s uncle in the presence of family in my mom’s parent’s front yard. A beautiful summer day, a stunning bride and a handsome groom ready to take hold and build a wonderful life together.

Mom & Dad on thier Wedding Day – June 19, 1948

Their first home was a two-room batten board house on my dad’s family’s property (where each one of his 7 brothers and sisters started out housekeeping). Both worked at the local mill in the day and on the farm at night. Putting back all the money they could they were able to purchase their own home closer to town. This being in the early 50’s rural folks were just beginning to get indoor plumbing. The indoor plumbing became so popular that Sears & Roebuck would have a crew come out and build you a bathroom and install a sink, toilet and tub ON THE CREDIT! That is just what my parents did.
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And then it happened, the Korean War. Dad was drafted and away he went. Mom decided to close up their little love nest and move back in with her parents.  This was a smart decision, during this time she was able to pay extra on what was owed, dad sent the majority of his money to her and lickity split all the bills were pay off and the money was going in the bank.
Their love was kept alive through letters and pictures and two years later (actually just a few days short) dad made it back to Georgia. They had overcome the time apart and went on to start a family.  My brother, Lamar was born in December 1955. A bouncing baby boy after being married for 7 years. Days were filled with everyday work and chores, afternoons with baseball and boy scouts and weekends on the lake or hunting.
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As they were able to continue to save money and plan for their future home, the plan was set into motion.  They built their dream home, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath brick home with a full basement on 5 acres! Mom said she would not have anything but “pink” brick and needless to say, that was a done deal too!  Moving in in the winter of 1964, once again nothing but a bright future ahead.  Grass was sewn, shrubs were planted and fences were built. And to “cap the stack” they had saved enough money to pay for this in full.  Talk about inspiring someone to save!
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Well, about 6 months after moving in, living their dream, mom got sick on the way to work one day.   The same afternoon she told my dad she must have a virus or something.  Okay, you guessed it. You know that spare bedroom with the bath for the guest. It was going to have a permanent guest! January 1966 my mom finally recovered from that virus. Not only did she recover, she was able to bring it home to stay in the guest room. It weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces and its name was Becky Ann (that’s me)! The best accident they ever had!
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To put this in perspective, by this time my mom is 35, dad is 38 and they really had not planned on having another child. This goes in the joy category!
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I want to kind of run through the events of the next few years, I like keeping the happy effect going as much as possible! Two years after the birth of ME, my dad fell in chemicals (Acid) at work. He remained in the hospital for about a month, almost dying at one point when blood clots went to his lungs. My mom went to the hospital 50+ miles one-way almost everyday and then took care of me and my brother at night.  My dad overcame his injuries and returned to work.
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A year or so later my mom was mowing the yard and she slipped her foot going under the mower. Mercy, she was a lucky lady not to be injured any worse.  After a week or so in the hospital she was able to come home and she soon recovered.
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They say bad things happen in threes, well if you count, there has only been two since the best little accident in the world was born! (He! He!) So, dad is coming home from work in May 1970 and has an automobile accident. Can you believe six months in a cast from the waist down.  He was lucky to have survived.  He was able to come home from the hospital after sometime and I gave him my room to put a hospital bed in while he continued to heal!  He surprised all the doctors and was able to eventually walk without the aid of a crutch or cane.
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My brother went on to graduate high school with honors and get married.  I finished high school and got married in 1985. Now the empty nest syndrome set it and it was just the two of them. They had been through so much together, little did they know what the future would hold.
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My brother and sister-in-law had them their first grandchild in 1982 and later two more. Oh how they love those grandchildren.  Mom’s health was always great and for good reason, so she could take care of dad.  In 1990, dad had emergency by-pass heart surgery. In 1993, he had emergency appendicitis surgery. Always, mom right by his side.
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These events did not touch what would happen next.  On December 24, 1995, my brother, their only son, was killed in an auto accident.  I can not explain the effect this had on my parents. This almost broke them.  As they each mourned their own way, they come to realize, they still had each other to lean on. True love, what an inspiration.
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Next comes a blessing in December 1998 a grandson is born, my son, Hampton. This was just what they needed, a reminder of life.  I still remember the first time they held him and the joy in their faces.
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Through all the years together they had experienced so much, always being able to lean on one another. Dad’s health became somewhat challenged as he fought kidney issues. Through the miracle of great doctors and God he was able to get those issues under control just in time to face a new tragedy.  His son-in-law of 20 years had lost his fight with Cancer. They worried about me and Hampton (as any parent would). Once again they leaned on each other.
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As time rolled on, in 2006 their grandson (my brother’s son) was in a fatal auto accident. He survived, his friend did not but he was life-flighted to a nearby medical facility.  They were getting older by this time and knew the routine, to lean on and love one another. What an inspiration! He recovered, was able to finish high school and is now in college.
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On their 60th wedding anniversary we threw them a big reception, they were so happy! Family and friends from all over came to congratulate them. Wow, 60 years!
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As I picked them up this morning to take my dad to have a procedure on his kidneys, I was in awe at the love between them.  My mom so carefully touched him, he in turn gave her a sweet look. She went back with him to help get ready for the procedure.  She asked every few minutes how long he had been back there. She insisted on helping him dress to go back home. Side by side, that is the way it suppose to be.
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My parents, Leric and Juanita, what true love is all about! They have not always had things in their favor but, have never have forgotten there is one person on this earth that they can always depend on EACH OTHER!
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Let this be an inspiration to all of us.  We may not be given the gift of 62+ years with the one we love but, we can always be there for each other!  Always remember this Chaotic Chic’s philosophy …… your blessings will ALWAYS outweigh the tragedies! (and it is easier to go through things when your strength is by your side)!
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XOXOXO
Becky {smile}

See the way my Dad is looking at my Mom, sweet!



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