Tuesday, April 07, 2009
68 Years Ago Today
I suppose it doesn’t matter at this point how they met. I know a young Ed Goddard met Naia Gonzales in her hometown of Fort Myers Florida. Naia worked for the local newspaper and Ed had moved to Fort Myers with a hardware company. They met when Ed walked in the Fort Myers News Press office one morning and the beautiful young Naia was sitting at the desk. I think it was love at first sight. But again, at this point, it really doesn’t matter.
I know Naia’s mother, Mabel, was none too excited about this tall, dashing, muscular Georgia boy with whom her daughter fell in love. And she was not excited at all when he later took her daughter back to the “God forsaken” little town of Reynolds, Ga. Mabel eventually worshiped the ground Ed Goddard walked on but at first she wanted nothing to do with him. But at this point, what Mabel Gonzales thought almost 70 years ago doesn’t matter either.
What does matter is they built a home in Reynolds Georgia. I’m not talking about a house of brick and mortar, though they built one of those too. But I’m talking a home - as in a family. And the four folks pictured above were the beneficiaries of their architectural prowess.
When I look back, I’m not sure what they did to build such a home.
I know a lot of family time took place around the table where we all took our time eating together. And we would move from the table to the den and the conversation would continue. I’m not sure many folks do that sort of mundane stuff very often anymore.
I know we could get only three channels on the television and two of those were fuzzy. So we didn’t spend a lot of time in silence watching such things as reality shows on TV. Our reality show was happening real time every day with each other.
I know the kids spent a lot of time in the yard playing with each other and with other kids. And a lot of life-long relationships were built in the process. I also know my parents had close friends who came over often. And there was always a lot of laughter.
I also know this couple had family devotions at night before everybody went to bed. The kids would gather in their bedroom. Someone would read something out of the Bible and everybody would pray. I’m sure we learned a lot at Sunday school and church - where we were every time the doors were open. But we all learned to pray in our parent’s bedroom. And when I look back I think that is probably the best place to learn.
And I also know these parents were not perfect and the neat thing is they never pretended to be. They were transparent and real at home, at church, at work, in their place of service in the community and wherever else you might find them.
Thank God you don’t have to be perfect parents to build a home. But because of what my parents taught me by their lives, I happen to think being “real” is a good place to start.
This past Saturday Kathy and I went to an Easter Egg hunt with our little grandbaby girl. I couldn’t help but think about my parents and my siblings and a few Easter Egg hunts of our own in our backyard many moons ago.
The first part of this little family video clip below was filmed Easter Sunday 1955. About halfway it moves into 1957 footage. I am the baby - the youngest of four. At one point in the video you will notice my brother George kissing me.
He hasn't kissed me since.
But I post it with a grateful heart - and in memory of Ed and Naia Goddard, who were married exactly 68 years ago today.