A Post Card from my Parents... My Birthday Blog

August 13, 2020

 

 

It’s my birthday! What a perfect time to publish this blog! What better way to celebrate with a memory about my parents and the God who gave me life!

 

Can I share just a little information first?  I am a believer. I’ve seen God move for many years. I’ve experienced the quiet, “Girl, I got you” way He’s shown up.  I’ve also been awestruck by His unexpected grand gestures.  God can express-mail a breakthrough (Amazon and FedEx have nothing on him). Or answer a prayer so smooth, it will go unrecognized for years. Man, I’m not even struggling with that anymore. Look at me!  Look at God!

 

He’s blessed me with just-in-time resources, divine connections and other “That could have ONLY been God” moves.  Yet, even with all of that, He still can blow my mind in a blink of an eye.  This is one of those times.

 

Now, back to my parents, I love them. Every bit of them: The good, the sweet, the imperfect.  They are mine.   Their struggles, their wins, and their sacrifices. I loved their love…the beginning, middle and end (God rest their souls).

 

I have lots of memories about my parents and my childhood.  But it recently occurred to me, I didn’t  know that much about their courtship. This occurred when a college friend, posted a black and white photo of her parents. The picture captured the couple in a dorm room while attending our Alma Mater decades ago.   Who would have thought a photo on a Facebook timeline would birth a much-needed God wink in my life! As I glanced at the image, I thought how blessed she was to have such a treasure.  And to hear  first-hand accounts of her parent’s courtship. Then I quietly whispered these words:

 

“I would love to have a picture of my parents while they were dating.”

 

To be clear, I knew a little about my parent’s courtship. But in the words of Sabrina Watson (AKA Paula Patton) of the movie Jumping the Broom, “Details are what make a person

.” (smile)  My mother did often  joke about the teacher my Dad was dating around the time they met.  Apparently, she was upset because she the thought a ring was in her future.  My Dad confirmed this story and let me know there were several interested ladies who were also disappointed. This tickled me because my Dad was a bit of a nerd. It was hard to imagine all this drama.  Anyway, they were married at the Justice of the Peace and began to build a life together near the Jersey shore.  My aunts filled in more with their own accounts, but there were no pictures, wedding certificates or mementos of their courtship or union.

 

Several months later I received an inbox message from a cousin. She’d been going through some old boxes and sent several photos.  One picture had writing scribbled on the back.  It was my father’s handwriting.  I’d recognize that chicken scratch anywhere.  I’d seen it on my annual birthday and Christmas cards he’d rush to send.  My eyes grew wide as I read…

 

This is a picture of me and my girl friend near where I live

 

Ethel

&

Norman 

 

 

Mom. Dad. Beach. Boardwalk. It was a picture of my mother and father around the time they met!  My heart leapt and my mouth burst into a smile.  Then, I suddenly remembered that soft utterance...

 

“I would love to have a picture of my parents while they were dating.”

 

That short sentiment had caught God’s attention. He treated the words as a prayer of the heart and  answered.  God thought it was important enough to respond.   Tears welled up in my eyes and I felt a big heavenly hug. The photo was addressed to my paternal grandparents who later would come to adore her. My mother and father were sitting on a bench on the boardwalk at the Jersey shore beach. The little town they would make home and the same boardwalk we’d visit throughout my childhood. It was clear, this was their early courtship.   And he was so proud he wanted to send a picture of his new love to his parents.   

 

I wrote this to encourage you. God hears us! There are times when we doubt but He is always listening.To let you know He hears even the faintest prayers. He knows our hearts desires.  He knows when we need Him to show up in small and big ways.  Even the most faithful believers have long periods of waiting where we are tempted to question Him. No matter how many times he shows up, we pull a Netflix. (God) Are you still there? Are you still watching?  He is.  And He will always show up in big and small ways.  God is good.  He is faithful.  He is the beginning and the end.  Period.

 

xoxo

 


Norma L. Jarrett, Writer

 

Daughter of Norman and Ethel Jarrett, Sister to Stephen Jarrett and Paulette Jones. Wife to Clarence York  

 

*Thank you to Big sister Kim Dobson fellow Alumna of North Carolina A & T State University and her Parents

 

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