A few days ago I was talking with Viola about how well things were going at our house in spite of the Parkinson’s that she lives with day after day. We have learned to compensate and do things to help each other which is a beautiful thing in itself. In the process, I have made a discovery that may be helpful for many people who will read this column.
When I thought about the way we were working together and helping each other, that is when I thought about the title of the song, “It takes two mules to pull this wagon.”
I’ve asked around and have also done a little research, but have not been able to learn who recorded it. I think it was Loretta Lynn, but I’m not sure. If you know, please drop me a line and clear up this mystery.
While I’m on the subject, I need to make a correction for something I put in a column several months ago. In the column titled, “Soldier, May I Borrow That Deck of Cards?” a reader had sent me this version, stating it came from a soldier in Afghanistan. In just a few days I began to hear from readers all over the country to let me know that this song came out of World War II and was originally sung by Tex Ritter. Cowboy Copas recorded a later version and apparently there were also others. Anyway, please accept my apologies. I thought I had it right.
While this is not the purpose of this column, I would like to give you a little sidebar and tell you about the day I met Loretta Lynn, the coal miner’s daughter, who could rightly be called the Queen of Country Music.
Back in the mid 1970s, I served as the chairman of the Speakers Bureau for the Pulaski County United Fund, as it was called back then. One of my jobs was to be master of ceremonies for the campaign reporting sessions. This is when 200-300 people would meet for lunch and give a report on how well their area of campaign responsibility was progressing.
During one of these luncheons we were to have Loretta Lynn as our special guest and former secretary of state, the late Kelly Bryant, was to be there and present her an Arkansas Traveler Certificate. Well, the meeting started and we had lunch, but no Loretta. Of course, I was presiding and most of these folks had to get back to work so we started the meeting. Still no Loretta. For the next 20-30 minutes, Secretary Bryant and I told jokes and stories to entertain the crowd, but still no Loretta. We finally dismissed the meeting and everybody went back to work.
About 2 p.m., she and her husband Looney rolled into the parking lot. They had come from an engagement in Louisiana in their travel bus and had just miscalculated their time. It was reported that because of the death of the late Patsy Cline that Loretta did not like to fly. Anyway, I got to say hello to her and while it was anti-climactic, I still remember the day I met Loretta Lynn.
At this point, I would like to share a few things from my heart that may be meaningful to you who read this column. It will also give me an opportunity to give you an update on Viola’s Parkinson’s and how well she is doing. With any disease of this type, it’s always a matter of good days and bad days. I’m pleased to say that her good days still out-number the bad days. She literally amazes me. Like the “Energizer Bunny,” she just keeps going and going.
She still keeps a spotless house, does the grocery shopping, prepares delicious meals, helps me some in the office and still finds time to minister to other people. One of the things she really enjoys is having all the widows of our church out once each year for a meal and a time of devotion. That’s an idea many of you could consider, even if you don’t have Parkinson’s or some other debilitating disease. Because of our circumstances, here is something I have learned that has been such a blessing to me.
While she is still in some pain, but still very active, she only moves at half-speed. It just takes twice as long to do things, whether it’s getting dressed, getting in the car or going to answer the telephone. As a result of her limitations, I have become more sensitive and considerate of her needs and you would not believe how much this has helped our marriage.
We’ve always loved each other, but like most folks have had our ups and downs. I’m just sorry that it took this situation to make me realize how good it could have been all along.
If you don’t have a great relationship in your marriage, why not try this? It sure has helped us.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. He may be contacted at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, Arkansas 72034.)