A message to my readers from Sharon Christian Aderman
This is going to be a busy summer for me. In July, I will be putting our house up for sale and moving to a senior campus here in the heart of Topeka. Since my new home is now in the stage of being built, I will not be moving in until August. Before that time, I have to plan all the details of my leaving and moving. I will be taking a hiatus from writing my weekly column and begin again when life settles down. Because writing strengthens my memory, helps lower stress, and offers emotional release, I hope to continue doing what I love at a later date.
I shall miss you all,
“I have heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them, and we help them in return.” — Stephen Swartz
There will be those who die this year and their names will appear in bold headlines. Heroes. Actors. Statesman. Politicians. They will be praised. Remembered for their glory and fame. Many will be touched by their loss.
There will be no bold headlines for my husband, Jim, even though he was a man who was truly good and disciplined and beloved by many.
He grew up in Niagara Falls, N.Y. I know he had a happy childhood, for over the years he shared so many tales of his neighborhood gang: Clutch, Hey Boy, Pig, and Hoof (his gang name). They were rowdy boys who played hockey in the icy alleys, climbed down the canyon of the Niagara River below the falls to swim, and one time Jim, the wildest of them all, invited them to his birthday party without telling his mom until the last minute. Dorothy, his mother, was a homemaker. Barney, his father, was a policeman who walked the beat in the Italian section of the city, once bringing home a live turkey they kept in the cellar until Thanksgiving.
His first real job was working as a stock boy for Loblaws grocery market. He earned enough money to buy the family their first television set. They never had a car. The always took the bus. He eventually worked various jobs, earning enough to buy their family a car.
When he joined the army without telling his parents, Dorothy said it was the saddest day of her life. He was eventually sent to Fort Riley, Kan. Because he was stationed there, I eventually met him and that day became the happiest day of my life!
He wasn’t considered a scholar even though his first semester at Bethany College he made the dean’s honor list. He studied. Most of the time he spent with his fraternity brothers and my family.
He was a man who lived his faith, no matter what church he called his home church. He was considered an outstanding man, but no one really knew he had a shy side. He did not cater to public speaking or even ushering in church. He preferred to remain on the sidelines. He sang out daily grace at every meal and at night he would say his prayers, telling me that if he fell asleep (his prayer list was long) he would wake up later and remember where he left off on his list. He tried to adhere to the Golden Rule. He would always leave a place better than he found it.
Someone once said “the greatest thing a father can do for his children is love their mother.” This was the greatest thing Jim did for us. Thank you, Jim, for giving us this gift.