It’s Only a Bird

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Crystal and I have thought about writing this book for a number of years. Even as a kid I told my dad that he should write a book. To me his war stories bordered on the unbelievable. He wrote what I can only call a love letter, to me when I was one year old. It is about a dozen single spaced typed pages, detailing his life’s experiences to that point. He just wanted to make sure the story wasn’t lost in case anything was to happen to him. It was extremely well written, thought provoking, and at points almost surreal.

According to Crystal, her father never talked about the war when she grew up. When she or her siblings asked, he just said war is an awful thing, and he didn’t want to talk about it. It wasn’t until she was a young adult that he started to reveal his war exploits. Crystal’s mom, however, was always willing to share her stories with her children. As with my parents theirs was a story worth telling.

At any rate, with what we know now, we understand a lot more about our parents and why their bonds were so strong. I say “were”, because both of our moms have passed on. Crystal’s mom died about half a dozen years ago, and mine, almost exactly a year ago today. Crystal’s parents were married fifty-five years and mine sixty-four. How rare is that kind of longevity today? They knew something about what marriage takes. Crystal and I learned a few things about marriage in our thirty-four years. It’s not just a matter of time. It takes more than dumb luck. If that were all it took marriage wouldn’t be on the critical list in this country. There will be more details in the days and weeks to come.

Let’s end today with a little story. Being the only man in a house with four females can keep you busy. The constant talking can drive you crazy. There were times I went shopping and had nothing to buy. However, there were also times when I realized why I had been put in this situation. At one time or another they all needed something; I mean really needed something and it’s up to me.

I was busy at work when the receptionist told me my wife was on the phone. I told her I would call Crystal back. She said, I think you should take this. Somehow women know. I picked up the phone and I knew immediately something bad had happened. Crystal was using her high pitched squeaky voice reserved for desperate times. All she said was, “There’s a bird in our bathroom.” She repeated, in case I had missed her first plea, “There’s a bird in the bathroom!” But wait, it gets better. Apparently she went into the bathroom totally unaware until the huge (it wasn’t that big) black bird flew toward her. Crystal jumped in the air, screamed and immediately turned around and shut the door. She said she couldn’t stop shaking for five minutes. That’s when she called me. I instructed, “just go slowly back into the bathroom and open the window. The bird is probably more scared of her than you of it.” She used a somewhat colorful metaphor and said “that is impossible”, and refused to re-enter the aviary until I had done my job. Realizing her stress level I went home for lunch, grabbed a towel, went into the bathroom and caught the poor frightened creature. I then took it outside and released it into the wild. It immediately flew away. Upon returning to check on Crystal, she was still a little upset, but relieved at my report. To this day I’m still not certain who was more relieved, Crystal or the bird.

While this story is funny to tell and the girls still laugh when they think about it, to Crystal, I’m still a hero. To me, she’s always the girl worth saving.

Category: Make Marriage Last

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