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Wind Beneath My Wings

A lot of doors had opened up to me just since my mother died, and especially since the KS Writer’s conference in November. After my first couponing workshop, I was approached by the Telegraph Herald to do a weekly couponing column. Soon I was being approached by women’s groups for speeches and presentations. Before long, I had other couponing workshops set up, and then a day-long writer’s workshop I had designed, as well. I had a photo shoot for the newspaper, learned power point for presentations, and I was filling a calendar in my purse with deadlines, engagements, and appointments. It was mind-boggling, and amazing. And David was right there, by my side, driving me somewhere and then disappearing to a restaurant or Hy-Vee deli for copious amounts of coffee while he waited for me. I distinctly remember telling him he did not have to drive me because I would be fine driving alone, and the subsequent look of hurt on his face. “Don’t you want me with you?” he asked.

“Of course I do. I love being with you, but this has to be kind of boring for you; sitting back and watching me talk shop, and disappearing to have coffee while I am having meetings.”

“I don’t mind. I love watching you soar. You are flying. This is your time,” he replied, and in the next breath, “Just don’t fly away from me.”

I was horrified. How could he think I would leave him? It was very important to me that he know the truth of the strong bond of our marriage.

“Don’t you understand?” I told him more than once. “It is because of you I can do these things. It is your encouragement and support that allows me to soar. You are the wind beneath my wings.” He beamed each time I said it.

Now, my daughter Elizabeth swears up and down that she did not choose the small gift she brought home from the hospital gift shop this week, and as soon as I saw it, I knew who had. Elizabeth has been in the hospital with Jacob, my grandson, ever since the day after her father’s funeral. Jacob is undergoing cancer treatment and any fever he gets will land him in the hospital. It is Elizabeth’s story, but this is how I recall it; she was in the gift shop when she spotted a basket of small little plaques. Maybe Mom would like one of these, she thought as she pawed through them with one hand. She was disappointed by the sayings on them when she realized she was clutching one in her other hand, one she had not remembered picking up and had not consciously chosen. “I knew instantly that Dad had chosen it for you,” she would tell me later.

“Fly,” it says on one side. “Spread your wings,” on the other.

Thank you, David. In your honor, I will.

Author:

Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Reporter for the Manchester Press newspaper and popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015.

2 thoughts on “Wind Beneath My Wings

  1. Mary, this is terrific. I read what you write each day and you must know how inspirational your writing is for me. Thank you.

  2. Mary-
    The Lord works in mysterious ways, and this is one of them. David sure is smiling from above, and I know he is so proud of you. I am in AWE of your strength through everything that has been thrown at you in the last 7 years or so. I really don’t know how I would have handled things the way you have. My friend you are a special Lady and I know your Mother and David are cheering you on from above. God Bless you my friend.
    Love you,
    Lisa

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