Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Night I Fell in Love with Letty


The Lord graciously took my dear mother-in-law, Letty Hueni, to Himself on April 23rd after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and the effects of several strokes. Bed-ridden for her last five years, she was wonderfully cared for by Dad and the surrounding family. She never left home. I thought I would post some thoughts about mom over the next few days…

Tonight I have been enjoying one of my favorite Mom memories. It was early in my engagement to Susan and I was down visiting my fiancé on a summer weekend. (Those were the days... working 60 hour weeks landscaping, jumping in the 3-cylinder Pontiac Firefly on Friday nights and zooming off to my love!)

Anyway, it was one August Saturday night around the little family room table eating fresh corn on the cob when it happened. I am something of a corn on the cob fiend, truth be told, and I was enjoying this Indiana specialty. Really enjoying it.

Somewhere in the middle of my third or fourth cob, Mom put hers down, looked over at me (with that twinkle in her eye I would come to love) and said matter-of-factly, “You sound like a pig when you eat.”

That was it.

But it was all so dry and so innocent and so wonderfully true! And we all laughed a lot as she went back to eating.

I decided right then and there that we were going to be good friends, me and Letty. And through the years she would say the funniest things at the most unexpected times. She was the master of the “zinger!” She could wonderfully crush me or call my bluff in ten words or less! I often wondered if she knew what she was doing. She had that kind of Gracie Allen charm about her that made you wonder, “Did I just get got?” And then she would be back to sewing or cooking or cleaning or reading a book to one of my kids with a little smile hiding underneath.

Dreadful Alzheimer’s eventually stole much of that sparkle, but that just makes memories sweeter now.