The charming side

Someone remarked the other day that many of my recent posts seemed sinister and melancholic.

I didn’t mean them to be!

I’ve been in the mode of a reporter over the last three weeks, describing what I was seeing while in the interior of northeastern Brazil. In many ways, life there is a black and white existence; Kodachrome images generally seem to be in lesser quantity.

But they do exist and are absolutely charming.

Take my mother-in-law, for instance.Arimar-and-Mom

She hasn’t quite broken the 70 year old barrier, though she is getting close. Born and reared in the hot, desert sun, her skin is “grizzled,” deeply wrinkled and gives her the appearance of someone much older. She is an absolute delight and loves to love on me.

She is so short that the top of her head barely comes to mid-chest on me. But, my how she can hug.

Her life has been tough. The stories she tells causes me to shake my head in amazement. I do not know if I would have been able to do what she did.

She told me a story about my wife, when she was only 6 years old.

Living in the middle of nowhere, in extremely harsh conditions, pregnant and all alone except for my wife who was only a child at the time, she went into labor. There was no one there to assist her, the nearest neighbor being miles away, and she was having difficulties. Finally, after a very arduous labor, she gave birth to a baby boy.

My mother-in-law was so exhausted that she couldn’t raise her head and had collapsed on the floor. My wife as a child, came in to check on her mother. Seeing the baby on the floor and her mother still attached to him via the umbilical cord, she commented:

Mommy poopooed a baby!

Oh how my mother-in-law howled when she told this story! Oh how my wife turned red! Oh how I loved being a part of the recounting of the memory with the two of them.


3 responses to “The charming side

  1. patrickandchristy

    We always look forward to seeing her sweet smile and getting one of her beautifully geniune hugs. For us, she radiates love. The world needs more hugs from people like her for sure. It’s easy to see where Arimar got her toughness and fiestyness.

    Joe, I think your posts have been full of truth and quite inspiring and uplifting. The reality you’ve seen may be cold and dark but I believe that the light of Christ shines brightest, and warmest, the colder and darker the situation or life. That’s when we are forced to realize how powerless we are to truly make a difference in someone’s life spiritually. It proves to us that without God we are hopeless and doomed to walk in the cold darkness.

    Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to experience some of this with you in August.

  2. When the northridge earthquake happened… my sister was so young.. but afterwards she said… almost in her sleep… did meteor man fall? LOL… the context is the movie… hahaha…

    i guess when you have to really explain something funny… its hard.. HAHAHA… God bless!


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