Relationships

I Pause to Remember With Thanksgiving…

April 7, 2016
Lev Herrington Prichard III

Lev Herrington Prichard III March 4, 1937—April 7, 2009 Lev Herrington Prichard III, 72, died at his home in Corpus Christi early Tuesday, April 7, 2009. The only son of Lev H. Prichard Jr. and Helen Pruitt Prichard Davis Matthews, he was born in Oklahoma City, OK, on March 4, 1937. The family moved to San Antonio in 1948, where he attended San Antonio Academy …

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Happy Birthday to Me!

March 17, 2016

I have lived to see three-quarters of a century go by, for today is my 75th birthday. Unlike those special days I associate with Lev, this is not a sinkhole. Because my birthday falls during Texas Spring Break—with my children and their families on different school calendars, going in different directions—we don’t have a tradition of gathering every year. In many ways that is a …

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Remembering Nancy Reagan

March 10, 2016
with Rita Clements and Nancy Reagan

News of the death of former First Lady Nancy Reagan triggered memories of my years as a foot soldier in her war against drugs. Between 1981 and 1985 I met the First Lady three times and followed her once to the speakers’ podium at the annual conference of the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth in Washington, D.C. In 1981 I was a 40-year-old …

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Celebrating Lev’s Birthday

March 3, 2016
top of the mountain

I have made it over that mountain of immediate grief, loss and aloneness—past the minefields, through the sinkholes, around the boulders that made the climb so arduous. I have not emerged unscathed, inadvertently injuring myself and others along the way. Now the road is mostly wide and smooth in front of me, just an occasional rough spot, boring stretch or sinkhole to trip me up. …

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The Tradition of Santa Mouse

December 29, 2015
Santa Mouse

When I die, my children won’t fight over who gets the family silver. They will fight over Santa Mouse. That’s pretty typical in families. Good memories are more important than monetary value. In 1967 the Christmas theme of J.C. Penney’s children’s department was Santa Mouse—a picture book, pajamas and a huge stuffed mouse in the display window. Our first child was eight months  old. On Christmas Eve, in a …

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A Christmas Decree

December 24, 2015
Christmas 2009

That first Christmas as a widow was a challenge, and I kept the decorations quiet—mostly green and white. Instead of putting the leaves in the table, as I did when there were 10 of us, I squeezed us all close together, avoiding an empty chair. And on Christmas morning, in anticipation of the family celebration, I issued a Christmas decree: Whereas, Grumps personified the spirit …

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My Mother-in-Law, My Role Model

December 8, 2015
Helen

Helen, my mother-in-law, is my role model for giving, just as she is my role model for widowhood. Twice widowed, she learned from her first experience. I consciously emulated her when Lev died, and I often cite her as an example of how to “do” widowhood well. Today is her birthday. Everyone in the family would agree that Lev and his mother were the most generous …

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Memories of Christmas Past

December 3, 2015
Christmas 1967

To Grandmother’s House We Go In the early years of our marriage, we alternated between Lev’s parents in San Antonio and mine in Texarkana, a not completely satisfactory arrangement. Christmas in San Antonio was a very formal, adult affair, traipsing from open house to open house on Christmas Day. The tree was artificial, on a small table in the dining room, decorated by the housekeeper. …

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Extending and Accepting Hospitality

November 22, 2015
Philippians 2:29

Key 6: Welcome others; be hospitable. A native son was returning home to Philippi, and the Apostle Paul–writing from his prison cell in Rome–instructed this small, struggling group of Christians to welcome Epaphroditus with joy. From beginning to end, the Bible is full of injunctions to be welcoming and hospitable. I tend to think of hospitality as a gift, and certainly we all know some …

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De Tocqueville’s Advice for Widows

November 10, 2015
Philippians 2:4

Key 4: Look out for others’ best interests, not only your own. While I was reared by the Golden Rule—Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—I did not think of it until recently as the foundation of a philosophy of enlightened self-interes, the idea that we benefit when we find ways to provide a benefit for others. Since I have blogged …

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