My Wife, Margaret, was born in Ontario, Canada. Kirkland Lake is about 5oo miles north of Detroit. The fifth of six, she has three older brothers with the twins about a year older, then Jim who is less than a year older than the twins. Jim lives in the Yukon. He told me once he went there because “… survival is challenging here.” While the boys were tough youngsters, Margaret didn’t back off much, they told me. And, in a letter we found written by her Mom, and describing each of her six, briefly says of her fifth one (Margaret, at age 4) only that “… this one is a little rip.”
Margaret loves to travel. Two weeks ago she was in Tampa. Easy trip. Next was a trip to Detroit, leaving from Chapel Hill, N.C. As the “southern storm of the century” began developing and heading our way , we observed closely.
My Father, a Southern Baptist minister, responded succinctly when I told him my newly betrothed Margaret was “Catholic”: I’d rather you be Catholic than whatever it is you have been!” Ouch. I did walk away with some of it. Beseech seems to be the best biblical word for begging. As the storm gathered I went from suggesting (“that storm is big and really is headed our way”), to advising (” this one looks too strong to risk”) and finally to “beseeching” (“baby , please don’t go”).
Perhaps the wisest thing I have done in our marriage is to not try to harness this spirit. Yet at this moment I pressed beyond the limit. Her stated response was something like “I can do this. I’ll be careful. Someone really needs help now”. The upshot of that really meant “go back and sit in your chair, I’m on my way”. Chapel Hill from our home is about three hours. Six hours after leaving she made it. And she is home safely.
I thought about the bus that couldn’t get Duke to Chapel Hill…Margaret could have driven that bus. I guess that says it all: Duke vs Carolina cancelled. Margaret didn’t.
And to think, they gave me awards.
Valentines Day, 2014. “…my gift is my song, and this one’s for you”. Elton John