Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This morning another book on my list to write (by the above title) popped into my head. John was going through bookcases culling books to give away. I walked by and started challenging him on some, including a little book on cats. It looked new and I said I could sell it at our little shop (Carlton Gardens). He glanced through to see if it might have an inscription (thus making it less appealing to a potential buyer), and discovered that he had inscribed it to Myra, a cat-lover and his second wife---a little gift on their first Christmas together.

He read it to me and commented and we set it aside to be saved. It reminded me of how well John and I live our lives with two very wonderful ever-present dearly-departed wives. They frequently come into our conversation and John adores them both---though he once said as kind of a throw away line (without me fishing for it), "I always love my current wife most"---as though, like Henry VIII, he'd had a bunch of them. Who he loves most is here nor there. He adores me as much as I adore him and that's what matters. That Myra and Ruth are so near and dear and yet not resented by me is to his credit if any credit is due. It is the way it should be, and someday I might have something to say in print as THIRD WIFE. Maybe like Ruth and Myra I will know ahead of time that I am dying. Maybe it will be a letter to the fourth wife. I've always said that if I predecease John the one thing that is certain is that he will marry again. I can only hope that it will be as happy as these three marriages have been.

Here is a photo of dear Dr. Myra Kraker who taught in the education department at Calvin College. She was a wonderful friend who gave advice and encouragement when I was being so badly mistreated at Calvin Seminary. This is a typical faculty picture. The picture that I see propped up in a bookcase near my desk is with John and with flowers in the foreground. She's beaming and absolutely beautiful.