The women of my life

Published 5:10 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Writing a weekly column is not always easy.  Unlike many writers, I don’t really have a list of things I plan to write about in the future.  I like to wait to the last minute believing that life itself will give me ideas each week.   Most of the time that works.

I woke up this morning without any clue whatsoever what the topic of this week’s column would be.   With the deadline in 7 hours, I went to the den, put my earplugs in and turned on my iPad.   In the still of the darkness before dawn, I began to listen to random music. 

The first three songs I listened to were “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Grogan, “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw, and finally “She’s Everything” by Brad Paisley.   Believing that music is the universal language, I realized I had just found the subject of my column this week.

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I was raised up in a way that allowed me to stand on mountains and walk the stormy seas during the ebbs and flows of my life.  I didn’t realize until years later what a foundation my mother, along with my father, had given me.   

As the lyrics of the song says over and over, I was strong because I stood on others’ shoulders, glimpsing what the world could be.   I was challenged to reach far, do my best, and experience the world.   In so many ways, Jobie Ponder helped me be more than I could be.

I am blessed with two daughters.  Hearing Tim McGraw sing the words I am reminded that my children remain the greatest gift I have ever had.  The lyrics had it right in that I was wrapped around their little fingers from the day they were born.   I still am.

They chased their dreams, were not afraid to take the forks in the road, and married men that were in fact good enough for them.   Yet they never ceased to be this Daddy’s little girls.   

Catherine Ponder Vanstone and Elizabeth Ponder Faulk are both beautiful from the outside in.   Not just to me and their mother, but to the children they are raising and to the friends that have crossed their paths along the way.   

My mother put me on her shoulders, but it was my daughters that gave me a reason to do my best.   I wanted to make them proud.   In doing so, it turned out to be the other way around.   I am so proud of them.

The third song let me know the sequence was in fact a message to me.  When Brad Paisley was singing “She’s Everything” this morning, he was describing Mary Lou and the role she has played in my life as my wife and partner.   

After 4 decades together, love is about all the little things that bind us together and make us look forward to the future even after all these years. 

She looks great in cheap sunglasses, she always wants a piece of chocolate, and never has a thing to wear.  She constantly steals the covers and is the giver I wish I could be.  She’s everything I ever wanted and everything I need.  She’s everything to me.

You now have the message I was given this morning in less than 15 minutes.  Lyrics in song reminding me of the great women in my life who each in their own way made me who I am today and more importantly, who I want to be tomorrow.