Everybody Has Special Qualities

“It was a life lived to the fullest.”

Recent passing of our favorite third cousin brought home just how mortal we are.

Maurice always held a strong place in our heart, despite forefront actions not appearing admirable.

Telling it like it is, we grew up fairly close to Maurice as his dad was our dad’s cousin, with frequent family involvements.

Heritage perspective, Maurice was born on the farm, as hospital care was unaffordable. With town jobs, his dad farmed, and we spent many youthful hours fixing fence, penning often-out livestock and helping the family move. Losing a not-yet-teenage brother surely impacted Maurice.

True stories likely better untold, Maurice smoked and had affection for opposite gender from early age, a dozen years’ perfect Sunday School attendance, best tap dancer at public recitals equal time, deadeye with his rifle, and rode the hair off Tiny Elzea’s runaway Shetland ponies.

A world class artist, his work not always reputable, Maurice won all track meet blue ribbons, a chess champion, could build or fix anything wood or steel, winning engine troubleshooting and welding events, served his country honorably, and operated any machinery, his adult profession.

Obviously strong in faith verified by loving nature in every way, delighted in photographing its beauty, Maurice’s fish stringers made professionals envious, even though merchandizing homegrown produce yielded incarceration.

Not recognized, Maurice was the most intellectual person we’ve known. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do, and nobody he wouldn’t help, many which he did.

Proud father of five, 13 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren all, with acquaintances from every walk of life, gathered nearly-filling his church memorial services, leaving no question about influence of Ziggy’s life.

Those claiming Maurice “didn’t get any breaks,” or “could have done so much more,” we argue emphatically.

Maurice made the most of his life the way he wanted it, only if everyone could be so fortunate. Maurice was special, eternally our mentor-hero.

Reminds us of Malachi 2:17: “God loves all,” therefore Psalm 1:5: “We must not stand in judgment,” because Acts 10:43: “One receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”

Thankfully, Proverbs 17:17: “Friends and families love and stick together through all kinds of trouble,” and Isaiah 41:6: “They always try to help each other.” Therefore, Genesis 15:15: “You’ll have a full life and die a good and peaceful death.”

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Wedding Carriage Brings Reflections

“There were distinct remembrances of two most important days gone by.”

Requested to transport the bride and groom in our carriage from the church to the reception hall several blocks away, it was a most delightful Saturday evening for all.

There were oohs and aahs as we drove the prancing red-white-blue plumed and red-tasseled big bay mare, Mae, into the church parking lot pulling the two-seated classic vehicle, even though we’d left the fringed-top at home, because of heavy winds and threatening rains.

Picture taking of the newlyweds stalled loading, so we kept Mae on the move, assuring readiness for her job. At appointed time, we pulled behind caution cones, and assistants made sure there wasn’t any carriage jarring, as the bride lifted many layers of long white gown into the seat, and groom slipped in beside.

Driving down the main drag, there were hoorahs, honking, clapping and congratulatory remarks which triplicated as guests greeted arrival at the reception.

Then was when pleasure expanded further for this driver, to Mae’s disgust, as we spent more than two hours giving carriage rides for wedding guests.  The kids had an obvious good time, but it seemed moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, aunts, uncles, and many friends might have even enjoyed the tours more.

Nearly forty three years ago, we had the red-tasseled palomino Shetland gelding team, Trigger and Pat, hooked to the one-seated, bicycle-tired renovated buggy. While headers held the rig calm, we assisted our new white gowned bride into the seat, stepped up beside her and drove down Main Street, and out to her parent’s farm.

Best men had attached beer cans behind and chalked “Just Married” on the buggy, so there was ample cheering for our drive recorded for perpetuity by the local paper and in a photograph hanging on our home wall.

Thirty years later, our famous stallion Zane was hooked to a snazzy borrowed surrey, and we had the privilege of driving our son and his new bride up and back down another Main Street, again to considerable well greetings.

Reminds us of Ecclesiastes 3:15: “That which is now already has been, as history repeats itself.”  Thus, Matthew:  22:4: “Everything is prepared, come to the wedding feast.”  So, Genesis 50:9: “And, there went the carriage and horseman; and it was a very great company.”

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