Much of my first book, A Bird and the Dragon: Their Love Story: A Memoir is about the adventures of raising five preteen and teenage daughters. And there were so many nicks and crannies we could have fallen into but I think we missed most of them. It was either that or there was enough of a glow between us that it shut out our awareness of some of the crannies.
We all moved into the Ugly Green House, which you saw in last week’s blog, a week before my second husband, Sy and I said our marriage vows to one another. We were wise and set things up so that I had the girls during the February school vacation with our wedding coming at the end on Saturday. My mother had their care during the next week when the girls would be back in school and we would be on our honeymoon. Sy, I, and the girls had spent many of the preceding weekends at my home in Grows Town so my being with the girls while Sy was at work seemed like a great way to start our time together. By Wednesday of that week, I locked myself in the downstairs bathroom and cried hysterically because I could not manage the monsters that were swarming around outside my door. Sweet, loving, cooperative girls: I’m not sure where they had flown to but they weren’t in my house! I, of course, had forgotten that they were just as excited and afraid as I, of what this marriage might bring to all of us.
Now let’s fast forward a bit: the girls had ended high school, moved on to college of some sort or beyond, and the new lovers had entered the picture. Men always seem to complicate things for us women. But the thing that touched me was that as each of the girls got close to closing in on a lifetime partner they came to me and asked, “How did you know that Daddy/Sy was right for you?”
I first tried, “You just know!” And then I said, “Well, ask yourself, could you live the rest of your life happily without this person?” But in retrospect I remember that I also looked for the Aha Moment.
Sy and I hadn’t married yet and he asked me to come with him to his “Dog’s Night Out” dinner group which I mentioned in A Bird and the Dragon. I met many of the men that he worked with and their wives. I didn’t die in the process and some of my shyness eased. By the second invitation I was interested in going. When we stepped into the room everyone yelled Surprise! and Sy got that funny smirk on his face as he leaned into me and said, “I didn’t know for sure but this appears to be our wedding shower.” The food was good, the laughter fun, and then it came to the gifts. As Sy handed me the second gift I got a little shiver, but hardly noticed it, and started to wrestle with the paper and the box. Sy took ahold of the box for me and I pulled out a brown wooden curved mantle clock. I had to fight back the tears because it was a duplicate of the clock that sat on the mantle for all of my days in my childhood home. I had fond memories of watching my father reset it every time we moved into daylight savings time and back. He’d stand by the mantle waiting patiently for all the chimes to ring before he moved the hands to the next position. In that instant I got that Aha shimmer. This is the right man for my life. God or my guides are reassuring me.
The next Aha Moment came when I took Sy home to meet my mother. This story is also in A Bird and the Dragon. After lunch my mother was doing her cross examination and discovered that Sy was born on the same date as her mother, Mary Emma Gould Moody, whom you have met before in my blogs. [In the above picture Mary Emma, my Grandmother is in the center. My mother Jordan Elizabeth is standing behind her mother’s right shoulder, Ralph Moody, the author you have heard about before, behind my mother, and their siblings to left and right.] Mary Emma was very much the head of our extended family. And the fact that Sy’s birthday was the same as her birthday gave him an open door into the family. I’m only sorry that my grandmother was no longer alive to meet Sy in person. But I know that by now she knows him well, on the other side of the veil. Having the same birthdays was another Aha Moment for me.
The third Aha Moment came months after I’d married Sy and I had driven into Nerme to do my grocery shopping. I was pushing my cart up one of the isles and saw this woman with light red hair standing contemplating something on one of the shelves. She moved her hand up to her face and in that instant I thought, ‘I know that gesture, that face.’ But I couldn’t pull up where I had seen this before. Curious, I wheeled my cart around to the other side of that display and then back up toward
the woman. As I got even with her she turned and said, “Birdie, is that you?” [I was nick-named ‘my little bird’ by my grandmother as a toddler and the Birdie, which I hated, remained with me up until I went to school.] I countered with, “Betty, is that you?” It was indeed Betty. Betty Graves had an older brother and sister that ran with my older brother and sister in high school in the little nowhere town where we all grew up in Massachusetts. [I’ve called it Sharkerton in my books.] Not only did Betty’s siblings know my siblings, Betty was my 4-H Club leader when I was eleven and twelve and she was sixteen and seventeen. We chatted and caught up on life events until we got to the fact that she was now the wife of the minister in the Nerme church that Sy, I, and the girls were about to check out as our new church. This was a very large Aha Moment! How in the world did God ever pull this one off? Assurance in spades to the fact that Sy and I were meant to be together.
Some teachers in the metaphysical world teach that there is a feeling associated with these kinds of events which I call the Aha Moment. Other teachers say that you actually get a shiver or see a shimmer of light when an event like the ones I’ve shared, happen to you. Whichever way you receive your information, your mind, heart, or soul are getting confirmation on some issue.
Have any of you out there experience something like I’ve presented here when you were dating, or courting, or on some other quest? Tell me! Tell me! In case you haven’t guessed by now, I love stories!