Anyone that knew my mother realized that she was a special lady. The work that she could get done was astonishing and she set some very high standards for those around her. Chief among mother's rules was not lying. She would often say, "If you do something wrong, it will work out far better if you tell the truth and not try to cove it up with lies." It would be great advice for a lot of people today.
Her zero tolerance policy on lies was just a fact of life growing up and she applied it to everyone, not just me, her only child. I can still remember her selling a piece of property to a member of our extended family. It turned out that the family member bought the property under false pretenses. She did not speak to them for five years and even then I suspect that she did not trust them. She also stood by her own word. I knew if she said maybe, the chances were not very good, but if she said we would do something, you could count on it. What a simple, intelligent way to live.
Mother would do anything for a friend or someone in need but coming to her with yarn of questionable truth and asking for a favor or money was a recipe for exile from her friendship. If someone had stretched the truth with her, she might manage to forgive, but she never forgot.
Some of her advice was meant to emphasize how important she viewed the truth. She often said that two lies can never make a truth. Not far behind that was two wrongs can never make anything right.
I am happy to have grown up in an environment where truth was the basis of our life. There was no false or fake news in our day. Chet Huntley & David Brinkley delivered the news as they saw it and we often tried to watch the news together and discuss it. We did not have cable channels that specialized in making up their own news.
I have seen far too many lies lately. Mother would not be pleased and she would expect me to call out any untruth especially in relation to her family. She does not have to worry about that because she taught me well and to be honest mother's spirit is still watching over us so I know to stand tall.
We used to joke about our Mount Airy home having a ghost. Glenda was pretty sure she saw it once. Then there was the time just after we were married and we were staying in the house alone. The house had old fashioned, very noisy circuit breakers on each of three floors. As we were getting ready to go to bed, all the circuit breakers were flipped on each floor, one floor after the other but no lights went out. Their distinctive sound was unmistakable. I went looking for a burglar but there was none. Even I would have blamed the ghost that night. It got so I was the only one willing to sleep in the house alone.
After mother moved from the house and we were still visiting it, there was an area upstairs at one end of the hall near the sewing room that was always strangely cold. I was always a little suspicious but never really thought it could be a ghost.
Mother died on the first day of spring in 2004. It was like her to will herself to live through winter so that she could die in spring which was one of her favorite seasons. The funny thing was that after her death, the hallway in the house was never cold again. We came to the conclusion that she made one last trip to the house and chased the ghost away. Maybe that explains the lady in a blue dress that one visitor claimed to have seen by their bed one night.
There is no danger of me abandoning the truth.