What makes a man
March is here again. Those who know me recall this is the month that I lost my husband Van in 1984. March is also the month he celebrated his birthday. He never quite got to age 57. Although March is difficult, the promise of spring helps ease my pain.
Each Wednesday, of course, my son Doug asks me just what I’ll be writing about in my next column? After doing this for over 20 years, it gets to be a guessing game. I’m certain I’ve written about everything I can think of a dozen times. So, what to do?
To assist, I review articles written in magazines and newspapers that I save. They sometimes prompt ideas.
Today, what else was I to do but pull out that pile of papers hoping to discover something new I haven’t already written about. Fortunately, I came across something that I authored about many years ago, the edges of this paper having turned brown over time. However,after reading it, I’m certain I never had it published. The title is, “What Makes A Man?” Here is what I wrote years ago. A man should be —
“Honest above all else. Especially about his emotions. Someone who doesn’t hoard love, but as the cornucopia turns upon itself, so should love be demonstrated. Never overly demonstrative; but always open and honest. Hand in glove with honesty, faithfulness. True love cannot be contained in an unfaithful environment. A sense of humor. How much more beautiful any relationship is if one can find humor during difficult moments. The ecstatic moments do take care of themselves.
Continuing, “Strength tempered with tenderness. No really vibrant and virile man is complete without an inner strength touched with the tender qualities of a woman, for each sex has within itself portions of the other. This gives balance to each worthy individual. Loyalty in all facets of his life. A deep belief in his faith, love of country and deliberate in his convictions. But a man who, while disagreeing, allows others self-expression.
Further, “Love of life and all that it holds. Enjoying what is best within each moment, from the beauty of a sunrise to the glory in each sunset. A man who can fish a mountain stream or dine at a formal dinner, either with grace and dignity as the occasion demands. To have purpose and a sense of value within himself. To know where he is going and why.
Then, “A man finding the path that leads to his ultimate goal and fighting for it against all odds with courage and conviction. An ability to admit when he is wrong and apologize without embarrassment. Sensitivity in his deals with people and understanding their needs and dreams. Lastly a neat and orderly man, for a man can give no greater gift to a mate after those listed above, than this.”
The preceding aptly describe my belove husband Van, the most beautiful man I’ve ever known. I lost him, much too soon, when he was only 57. However, I consider myself blessed. He was my best friend, the love of my life. Memories of those too few years with him make me smile, even in March. From some pamphlets, I discovered some other gems of wisdom to share with you.
“Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.”And how about this one. “The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wants me to do; the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.” And now for a few that are amusing.
“Love is grand; but divorce can be a hundred grand.” “Oh, I don’t mind going nowhere as long as it’s an interesting path.” How about “It hurts to be on the cutting edge.” Also, “There is always death and taxes; however death doesn’t get worse each year.” Or “Stupidity got us into this mess — why can’t it get us out?”
The ladies will like this one-“Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.” Last, but not least – since it fits me so perfectly – “You’re getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.”
Please feel free to share these thoughts with your friends and family. God bless
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org