Publisher: twinger Volume No. 3 Issue No 5 Date April 13, 2004
My neighbor, Darlene Gibson, invited us to eat lunch at her house for Easter. I am quite comfortable with the Gibsons, but she had invited her family, the Frisches, to come also. I have a hard time in crowds, and I admit that I was anxious even though I was acquainted with most of them.
Darlene is a good person, and through the course of our friendship, I have come to love and respect her. I should have known that her family could, in part, define what she has become. I sat in amazement at the love and affection intertwined in their conversations and actions. Her mother, Marty, is warm and loving and is genuinely interested in those around her, even outsiders like me. Her brothers tease and punch her, and her sisters help out in the kitchen waiting on others and doing dishes. The older (high school and college age) children willingly play with the younger children, and everyone shared hugs and kisses. I saw Karen’s sons, T.J. who is in college and Myles who is a teenager, sitting in her lap. Darlene planned a balloon race that everyone had fun running, and even the adults “had” to hunt Easter eggs. Her niece, Heather, made a point of coming up to me to find out who I was and welcome me. Her family talked about their lives and not a harsh word was spoken. Everyone participated fully in the day even though some, including myself, had to be goaded into playing games.
Over the years I have learned that Darlene is very close to her family. They talk on the phone all the time, and she yearns to be with them. I am beginning to understand why. Their father died when they were young and her mother raised seven children alone. Imagine the struggles of such a life. And yet from such adversity arose children who love God, work hard (mostly in businesses spawned by the family), love one another, and live lives of integrity. I am sure that they have their difficult moments, as most families do, but their love for each other is evident to me. What a testament to Marty and what a blessing to have such a family. I am thankful that Darlene invited us for lunch because I felt loved and accepted. Oh what a gift on such a holy day.
Proverbs 31:10-31 “The Ideal Wife”