Clara Marie Denham Morrow was my mother-in-law for twenty-two years. She was my friend from 1965 to now. She died, Sunday after four years of Alzheimer’s Disease. She lived a good life and she had a good death. I frequently called her “My healthy mom.” I learned so much from her on parenting and how to live a peaceful life. I miss her.
Mom fed my soul and being with her was always a delight. I somehow felt closer to the Universe when I was with her. She was the peace maker in the family. “Dad” and I would frequently argue and occasionally get angry with each other. She would just subtly change the subject and we would quiet down. I never knew that was an option before I met her.
Her home was “Home” for me and our sons. It was the place to which we returned from our many postings while I was in the Army and even after her daughter and I divorced it was still home for me. She and Dad continued to graciously welcome me as part of the family.
Once, after I married again, my second wife and I had a big argument. We were living in San Antonio. I did the male thing and bolted. I was headed to Ft. Worth to be with them for a few days to lick my wounds. How amazing were they that I could do that?! I turned around in Johnson City. But what a resource to know they still loved me after all the mistakes I had made.
Mom was a wonderful Southern lady and servant Christian. Some would say the two are synonymous. She was a daughter of Texas. She spent her life giving to her family and the community. She lived modestly and was very generous. When Anne and I first married, I was in graduate school in Ft. Worth and we would go to her home to play spades. That was our idea of a great evening! It was also a cheap date.
I hope when I grow up, I will be more like her and know myself as well as she knew herself. Nah, probably not. She was unique.