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.