PART THREE – A BEAUTIFUL SOUL
Fu means crazy in French, and she was, in her own special way.
First, she was crazy about me. What can I say? I didn’t deserve it, but she loved me and believed in me and made me a better man.
The truth is she was always a better person. She was compassionate and kind, smart and determined. Her piety ran deep and was strong. She knew what she wanted in life, and she went for it. She didn’t want riches or fame. None of that ever interested her. She wanted to have a happy marriage to a Christian man. She wanted to be a mother. And she wanted me to think that I was responsible for the blessedness of our life together.
It took me a long time to realize it, but that was not true. She was the secret behind the beauty of our life together, because she was such a beautiful soul. I have a master’s degree and an earned doctorate. I would have never achieved these things apart from her. When we started off, I could not spell anything and could hardly write a complete sentence. I’ve written hundreds of sermons, published over a hundred articles; I have written numerous short stories and a novel. None of that would have ever happened without her.
Her calling in life, however, was not to be my husband, but to be the mother of our children. Now, of course, I had a role in that. She, however, was in the driver’s seat. She was crazy about being a mom.
Fu was an only child, primarily raised by her mother and her grandmother. She had three much younger male first cousins, but she only saw them a couple times a year. That was her family, and she was the center of it.
I was raised by my father and mother and was the fourth of five children. I was the center of nothing except when misbehaving. I had the experience of a house full of kids. She had the experience of being the one and only child, but somehow, when it came to raising children, she knew what to do. I didn’t.
My idea of discipline was to holler and threaten the little rascals in order to get them to act right. It did not work very well.
She would come in, gently and quietly take over, and soon they would be little angels. It involved misdirection, pointing their attention toward something else, listening carefully, and just loving them tenderly. I don’t know how she knew to do that, but she did, instinctively. I watched in amazement.
The truth is I was hardly in the game, but she made me feel like I was in charge of the game; but I never was, not really. Early on I realized that the smartest thing I could do was follow her lead.
She loved being a mom, and since I helped make that become a reality, she loved me for it. And I loved her for giving me three wonderful children, children made wonderful by her nurturing and direction. That’s a lot of love.
When I reflect on those days, I remember a blessed life as we raised our children. It wasn’t easy. We struggled at times to get by. But what made it so good was being with my children, and most of all, with my Fu.