“Happier days are positively forward for you. The battle has ended.”
So learn my fortune cookie when my preteen granddaughter and I loved Asian meals after “Imply Ladies” on the Walton Arts Heart final month. Being totally conscious, even in her youth, of household tragedy and struggles with the loss of life of two of my daughters — her mom Emily in 2019 and her aunt Kathryn in 2021 — she firmly pronounced, “Papa, that could be a great fortune for you, and it’ll come true.”
I make no New 12 months resolutions. They’re pie crust guarantees, per Mary Poppins: “Simply made, simply damaged.” As an alternative I am going to simply carry on trudging down the highway, saying my prayers, being pretty much as good a neighbor as I can, hoping for the most effective.
Maybe the fortune cookie and my granddaughter had been right. I am unable to complain how the brand new yr started. I had a peaceable Christmas adopted by a first-class, actually, New 12 months’s Day celebration in a Superdome suite in New Orleans the place I watched my beloved Baylor Bears beat the Ole Miss Rebels within the Sugar Bowl. My youthful sister Susan, a stellar LSU scholar in her youth, Tulane legislation grad and a profitable lawyer in New Orleans with ties to the Saints NFL franchise, made the preparations for me and our elder sister Carolyn, each Baylor graduates. So, in a set of principally Ole Miss followers, the six of us — each sisters, their husbands plus a longtime Baylor good friend from Texas and I — cheered on the Large 12 underdog workforce that dared to problem an SEC legend in that fabled convention’s favourite social gathering metropolis.
Our suite hosts in crimson and powder blue had been gracious, which was to be anticipated; that is the South and New Orleans’ most seen business is hospitality. They smiled as we entered in our inexperienced and gold regalia, muted although it was compared to what the six of us had simply seen within the official Baylor pre-game social gathering elsewhere within the dome. Even Susan, who has no affinity for the Waco faculty however by her siblings, managed to don some homosexual attire: a darkish Tulane inexperienced gown accented with gold jewellery.
I am going to spare the play by play. Baylor gained 21-7, confirming what our Texas visitor had predicted. After Baylor’s third landing and later with solely 5 minutes left within the sport, it was obvious that Mississippi was no match for Dave Aranda’s stone-wall protection and our quarterback from Earle, Gerry Bohanon. Bewildered Ole Miss followers started departing, bidding us honest however befuddled congratulations. How might this Large 12 workforce with a 2-7 report simply final yr have come up to now? A Zen-Lutheran coach employed by a Baptist faculty. That is how.
As my brother-in-law chauffeured us throughout the longest bridge on the planet again to our hometown north of Lake Pontchartrain, I used to be free to ponder. Perhaps the fortune cookie was right. Definitely the primary new day of the yr was exceedingly pleased. However does the battle ever finish?
Somewhat than struggling, maybe higher to think about long-suffering. Within the biblical context, long-suffering is just not essentially enduring ache however reasonably being gradual to anger and to dwell life treating others with forbearance. As God does with us sinners.
Weighty ideas on a journey throughout numerous tons of prestressed concrete over midnight-dark brackish waters. My thoughts wandered with not a lot to see within the 24-mile, exit-free stretch between massive metropolis lowlands and suburban pine forest. These quiet minutes, however for the rhythmic thump-thump of automobile tires crossing every seam within the bridge, had been respite from the excessive revelry we might simply loved.
I considered the exhausting instances my forefathers lived as they settled the as soon as uncooked, rural land forward of us. For them the accoutrements of New Orleans had been of some distant nation earlier than this specific bridge was constructed mid-Twentieth century. But they wanted little from town; they had been self-sufficient farmers. One trendy amenity dropped at the farm in 1885 was Nice-Grandfather Enoch Talley’s Seth Thomas calendar clock. Delivered by wagon to the crude handle “Covington, 15 [miles] North,” he paid for it in installments. 4 generations later, the clock rests on my mantel ticking faithfully and, in my absence, precisely ringing on this new yr because it has for 135 years in Talley households stuffed with struggles and happiness. And to the most effective of my information, all these Talleys trudged down their roads and crossed their bridges being trustworthy Methodists and Baptists and good neighbors alongside the way in which. I am going to attempt to do the identical.
Did I simply make a decision?