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Be Nice

By Don Swinney | February 1, 2013

I married into an “interesting” family. I had to think a while beforedeciding on that adjective. There was a time I could not have been that kind.But any couple that could produce a person like my wife deserves all thekindness I can muster. I started dating her right toward the end of our junior year in highschool. I was instructed to pick her up at her grandmother’s for a second date,but I wasn’t told why. Hey, her grandmother lived in town and she lived in thecountry, so I didn’t ask why. When I picked her up, I found out why. Her familywas moving 500 miles away, but was allowing her to stay to finish that schoolyear. It didn’t bother me then, but when the time came for her to join them, itbothered me greatly. Fifty years later I still rank telling her good-bye in thetop most difficult things I’ve ever done. {{more}} But the time came and went. We both wrote and received a letter everyday for almost three months. Then her parents decided to move back. And aperiod of persecution began. Her father dealt me pure hell for two years. Tohis credit, we finally decided he loved her so much and wanted so much more forher than he thought I’d ever give her that he decided to run me off. It didn’twork. We have been a couple almost 60 years. But this article is about her mother. She was on my side during thispersecution. Throughout the years, she was such a help and a rock of Gibraltarfor us. She came up with a lot of funny sayings; one of which is the title ofthis article; “Be Nice.” She visited us three times during our eight years of living in Germany.On one of her trips, she spent a few days in England. There she observed theBobbies and was taken aback. They did not carry guns like out policemen did.She wondered how they could enforce justice. She asked, “What do they do?” Ianswered, “They shake their clubs at the and say, “Now benice.”