Standing at attention in a pouring Georgia rain for mail call at o-dark-thirty in a sea of mud on a parade ground, the recruit heard the drill sergeant bark out his name.
He double-timed it to the front of the formation, but not fast enough to please the sergeant. Disgusted, he tossed the letters in the general direction of the space the young man was to have occupied.
The mail landed in the water and mud.
“Pick it up,” the sergeant snarled.
“Pick it up yourself,” the private growled back.
An officer standing nearby witnessed the proceedings.
“Sergeant, pick up the mail and hand it to him.”
With a look that could peel potatoes – which is what the smiling triumphantly private would end up doing – the sergeant’s eyes communicated the threat.
The look became reality, and after pulling extensive KP the young soldier put in his transfer to Texas.
It was on a train to the Lone Star state that the young soldier who would one day be my father met the young woman who would one day be my mother.
Their eyes met. It was a look that could peel away any resistance to falling in love. With a smile that brought the soldier to stock-still attention, she motioned to the seat next to her and said, “This space is not occupied.”
She was as beautiful as a bouquet of flowers in full blossom; her lips were as striking as a single red tulip; and her eyes shone blue as a summer sky.
My mom and dad are long since gone. But their just-so-happened love that began on a train headed to Texas, which had been preceded in a just-so-happened incident on a rainy morning in Georgia, gave life to a legacy of three children, eight grandchildren, and ten greatgrandchildren.
Happy Mother’s Day.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.