Thursday, April 11, 2013

Come My Love and Live with Me

I must confess that it’s been a difficult week, and difficult on two fronts.  Mother has not responded well to my new adventure in faith; but it has occurred to me that I should neither back down, nor make a pest of myself.  The result is that I have resolved just to stick to my normal pattern as best as I can. I usually rise and hour or two before Mother, make myself a cup of tea, and retire to my study with my Bible.

The second front of course is the frou-frou dog. Mother has named it Pippa. I thought it ought to be named Puddles, but I wisely kept my mouth shut. As it says in Proverbs, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise.”

This morning Mother was out puttering around in the garden trimming the dead buds off the Dublin rose bushes that she had planted last fall, and I have taken advantage of the moment by going into the drawing room and sitting down at our Seiler 168 Virtuoso piano.  Admittedly I’m a little rusty, but an old Bill Kenney number from The Ink Spots had come to mind and I began to sing softly,

Come my love and live with me
Beside the ever chanting sea
We’ll live beneath the open sky
And share the simple things, that life as one.
I’ll bring you the gold of the dusk and dawn
We’ll speak of love eternally
For nothing else could sweeter be
As endless as the sky, our love shall never die
O come my love and live with me.

            I suddenly became aware that Mother had entered the room and had begun to sing along in harmony.  I was appreciative, after all she has been a little sensitive lately.

            “Alfred,” said Mother. “I’ve noticed that Pippa seems to have taken a shine to you.”

            “Well, harrumph!” said I, not knowing what else to say.  I didn’t want to point out that Pippa had fallen in with my morning routine and usually followed me into the kitchen for a morning biscuit and then settled down in the study with me.  It probably helped that I have stopped referring to it as the frou-frou dog.

            Just then the phone rang¸ and Mother picked it up and I heard her saying, “Grace, good morning.” Then, “Dinner at your house on Wednesday evening, how lovely, thank you, of course we’d like to come.”  There was a pause and then she continued, “It’s the same group we had dinner with at the Bistro?”

            Then a distinct note of coolness crept into Mother’s voice, and I heard her say, “You want us to bring our bibles?”  Mother’s face had that set iron lady expression that she had copied from Margaret Thatcher. 

Finally she put down the phone and stared at me, “Alfred, did you put Grace up to this?”

“Up to what? Mother,” said I¸ for in truth I hadn’t the faintest idea what she was talking about.

“Alfred,” said Mother, “Grace says it’s called a Care Group.  They get together once a week for dinner and a bible study and they pray together.  If it weren’t Grace Whittington, I would have said ‘No!’.  Whatever will I do?  I don’t like the idea of praying out loud at all.  That would be most uncomfortable. I like to keep my prayers between myself and God.”

My guess was that Mother seldom prayed, if at all.  It just wasn’t her type of thing. I considered the problem for a moment, then answered, “I’m sure that you won’t be pressured to praying aloud if you don’t want to.  After all prayer is a rather individual thing, and after all, it is the Whittingtons and we do like the Whittingtons.”

“Yes, well, Alfred, I suppose so,” said Mother. “We’ll just have to see.”

“In that day, says the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor under his vine and under his fig tree" (Zechariah 3:10).

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