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.

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