Frank was my second husband and my worst thought was that I was marrying him because my kids needed a dad. The thought haunted me night and day and finally I told him just a few days before our wedding. He said,”I don’t think so, but even if you are, You must think very highly of me because you are a great mom and you wouldn’t throw a bad dad at hem, would you?
I wouldn’t of course and the worrying ended. He was a great husband and a great dad too. He worked 36 years at a paper mill near us and his job was electrician for the whole yard especially, as I learned later, climbing those high poles! He seemed to like climbing and climbed the over 100 Foot Northern Fir to make mountain and lake views for our camping neighbors. It’s funny too because he died from the surgery of putting in a new hip which he broke from falling on our sidewalk!
He liked to talk and it didn’t matter to him whether he knew the person he was talking to or not. One time he was taking my mother shopping. He found a fellow as soon as they entered the store. They started talking and Mom did her shopping. After she checked out she went over to Frank and said, “Don’t you have some shopping to do too? He realized he had been talking all the time Mom was shopping so he left the man and hurried to get his shopping done.
When they got out in the car, Mom asked him if he hadn’t seen the man for a long time. “I had never met the guy before,” was all he said.
He liked to talk to others about the Lord and was always sorrowful about not winning his best friend to Jesus. He died the day after one of his visits. I told Frank that he couldn’t know that the Holy Spirit hadn’t taken the words Frank had said and used them to win his friend for Christ. My words helped but he was always sorrowful.
I’ll always remember the day he spanked my little son who was coming home late after playing too long with his friends. He said, “Ronnie, you sit right down here and eat your supper and after that you and I are going into your room and I’ll spank you.” Ronnie wasn’t very hungry that night. However, they went into Ronnie’s room after supper and the rest of us listened right by the closed door!
He was strict, but loving to all my kids and when we got a little girl, he loved all four of them the same. He insisted on helping each of them to go to college although we couldn’t pay all of their expenses. It still hurts when i hear one or more of the children are still paying on their student loans.
And he loved his grandchildren! We were lucky to have two little grandchildren all day, every day, when their mother went to school to teach. I have a picture etched into my mind of Frank holding up Sarah against the fence. She was feeding the neighbor’s chickens and the beautiful white geese he had. Of course we had the neighbor’s okay! Every day, the two of them would trudge off to feed the chickens.
Our other little grandchild and her grandfather went out to mow the lawn. Megan asked for something to mow too. I gave her my broken down Bissell sweeper and the two of them mowed, Frank going ahead with his mower and Megan coming along behind with her Bissell sweeper. It is a picture I keep in my mind.
We had our times alone too. He didn’t save all his talking with strangers. At night, when we had our coffee, we talked. He talked about everything, especially his army years. He told me about his Thanksgiving dinner in a foxhole during World War II. A US plane dropped Spam sandwiches down to the men. He said, “I’ve never been more thankful than I was that day.” He spent three years overseas in the army. You can talk about your “date night” all you want, but our nightly talks were wonderful! I miss them the most.
I thank God often for this great man and for my first husband too. He died suddenly when he was only 39. How could anybody have two good men love her like I did? I hear so much about the divorces going on these days. It is so sad that a simple argument makes people go to the courts right away. We had our arguments too but we never went to bed mad at each other. Life is too short for that!