Jeannine Brenner 511 words
428 Rabbit Hill Lane
Lancaster, PA 17603
ISN’T IT STRANGE?
It was surprising to see Mack at church without his wife. Mabel never missed a Sunday, so as soon as I could I crossed the aisle to ask if she was ill. With a crafty smile Mack replied, “Call her and ask.” It was a strange response from someone I considered a very good friend, and it was very unusual not to see the two together, but I let it pass for the time.
News travels quickly in a small church, and before I could make the phone call, I got my answer. Mack, as I knew, had had a mild stroke a few months prior and had recently had his driver’s license revoked, which did not set too well with a man who had always done the driving. On that particular Sunday, as Mable was finishing gathering her things for church, Mack went out, supposedly, just to start the car. But when Mable came out and asked him to move over so she could drive, he told her “Get in."
“Move over,” she said.
“Get in,” he said again.
This conversation was repeated several times. Mabel refused to get in with an unlicensed driver, and Mack refused to move over. Finally, Mack said, “Get in, or I’m going without
you, a very uncharacteristic command for this mild-mannered man. And after her next refusal,that is exactly what he did. Leaving an astonished and angry Mable standing in the driveway, he smugly drove himself to church.
Appearing to be rather pleased with himself, he gave the same pat answer to all who asked about his wife, “Call her and ask.”
His mischievous smile was a hint that there was a story he wanted us to know, but he was not telling it. However, his little bid for independence ended with the benediction. His son was at the church door waiting to bring him home.
When you have been married fifty years, you learn to forgive petty annoyances, which, at the time,may seem like cause for divorce. When I next saw Mable, she was her usual good natured self, and laughed merrily over her abandonment, without a trace of resentment. As for Mack, each time the story of his desertion was repeated, he just stood there with a sly twinkle in his eye, looking alittle like the cat that swallowed the canary.
Isn’t it strange how we find humor in the exasperating situations of others, but are so very aggravated when those same things happen to us? But somehow, hearing these stories makes our own irritants less irritating.
I believe it is one way the good Lord has of reminding us to look at the funny side in the frustrations of life, and not hold grudges. If we can let go of bitterness when these petty annoyances happen to us, the retelling of these stories will become a memorable part of the family history.