Children

Often I have heard it said that children are a blessing, but no one warns that children are also a life sentence. No matter the age of the parents or the children, they are always a source of worry. I’ll never forget my neighbor in Louisiana, a woman in her 90’s who lived on a plantation in the middle of the cane fields between New Iberia and Jeanerette in a small community called Olivier. She was very wealthy and raised four boys and one girl. One afternoon we were having an early toddy and her 70 plus daughter dropped by for a visit. As she entered the room, her mother said, “Gladys, you don’t look good. You’ve lost too much weight.” Gladys replied, “I’ve been playing a lot of tennis.” Her mother, Mrs. Duhe, chastened her. “You’re too old to be running around a tennis court. You should slow down.” As I sat in her living room sipping my drink, I found it ironic that a mother in her 90’s was worrying about her daughter in her 70’s. The scene made me smile. Shortly before my mother died at the age of 89, I went for a visit. We were sitting in the living area off the kitchen in comfortable chairs. She looked at me and asked, “Sonja, do you think you’ll ever marry again?” I was in my 60’s, had been married four times, and had no plans of making that mistake. I replied, “No, Mother, I’ll never marry again.” I felt her concern for my happiness. She then added, “Some people should never be married. You are one of them.” At the time her statement hurt, but as time passed and she died, I realized that she was only expressing her concern for me. After all, she was my Mother.