Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Expectations Of Marriage

Today Mother and I were doing some mending on the back porch. We were talking about my wedding and other things. Mother said quietly, "You know Rachel, there is more to getting married than a wedding and a new house," she looked at me intently.

I squirmed a little bit. I was afraid of what she wanted to discuss with me. She had made sure the girls were out doing errands for her and I had a feeling she wanted to talk privately with me. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you have seen babies born. You have have seen mares have foals. You have seen cows have calves and have even pulled a couple out yourself. Many times you have assisted Father with Ebony, and the breeding of the mares. Do you know what I am getting at?" she questioned gently, but firmly.

I was not comfortable talking about this subject with Mother. I felt my face turning deep red. "Mother, I know. We don't have to talk about it do we?"

She looked at me and frowned, "Rachel, I want you to have a clear idea of what it means when you take a husband. When Avery Longworth takes you home after your big wedding and day of fun......well, I want you to know what will be expected of you."

"Mother, I know." I answered her trying to think of how to end this uncomfortable conversation.

"You will be alone with a man - not a boy. A man. Not one of your childhood pals. He will be expecting certain things of you. Think of marriage as a partnership. You will be a wife doing all the wifely jobs that I have taught you over the years. He will be going to work and taking care of you. You will have a home and furniture and food and whatever else you need," she looked at me and smiled tenderly. It seemed as if she was wondering what else she should say.

"I know what he will expect of me," I answered quickly hoping that would end it.

"I don't want to find out that you locked him out of your bedroom. Or that you hitched your buggy and drove all the way home on your wedding night," she smiled again.

"Mother, I know you and Father sleep in the same room in the same bed. I know that is what Avery will expect of me too."

"Yes Rachel, but there is more to it than just sleeping. Like the horses you have seen bred. He will expect to have physical contact with you in a way that may not be comfortable as first. It will get better, or at least easier as time goes on. That will be the way you will become pregnant and have your children. Do you understand what I mean now?"

I nodded. I fought the tears that were welling up in my eyes. I did not want her to see me cry over this. I had an idea of what was expected, but I did not know the exact details.....not for sure. I just wanted Mother to leave the room and leave me alone.

"Rachel honey, there is a possibility it will hurt and it could make you bleed. I just want you to know that, and there is nothing wrong with that. That is normal. Our Lord made us for this. It is our job on earth to satisfy our husbands and do what they ask," she got up and gathered her mending together in her basket.

I looked at her and thought how could she be happy that I would be leaving here, and have to do all this for a man I hardly know? She reached down to me and pulled my hand up so I stood in front of her. She wiped the tears from my eyes with her handkerchief. She hugged me close to her and whispered, "I love you dearly honey. You are my first born girl. I just want you to have a happy life. This man, Avery Longworth will take good care of you. He is a Godly man, a hard worker and a responsible man. I am sure your life will be happy with him. You won't have to work too hard or go without. Do you understand?"

I nodded up at her as I hugged her. Then she left the room. I sat there till I felt a little better. I looked at the socks I was mending. My father's. It won't be long before I won't be mending his socks anymore. I will be mending my own husband's socks.  A man. Avery Longworth's socks. What will my life be like? It is almost the end of April and my wedding is in June. I better get in touch with Eliza about my shower. I am getting married! Getting married to Avery Longworth!

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Broken Heart

Yesterday Kent Osbourne came to our church with his grandparents, Nelsen and Ellie Osbourne. He tipped his hat outside the church door as we walked past him and winked at me. I felt butterflies in my stomach. Then I felt guilty for feeling that way since I am almost a married woman now. He sat behind us with his grandparents. When we stood up to sing the opening hymn, he leaned forward and passed me a piece of paper. I quickly hid it so my sisters would not see. They would run and tell Mother I am sure. Or tease me later about it. They knew I used to like him. The paper burned in my hand. I wanted to take a peek at it so bad. Finally, during prayers when I saw my sisters were all properly keeping their eyes shut tight, I opened the paper very quietly. It read:

My dear Rachel,

I am distressed to hear the news of your soon to be marriage to Avery Longworth. In my mind, I always thought you favored me and never saw you showing interest in anybody else. Most especially, Mr. Avery Longworth. I figured I had some time to talk with you on this. Are you sure this is what you want to do? 


Kent Osbourne

I looked around and put the note in my pocket. There was really not much to say about this to anyone. I had already promised to marry Avery Longworth and he was expecting it. Mother and Father had really made my choice long ago and Kent Osbourne had not asked in time. I stole a glance at him and he looked very serious at me. I just nodded no to him. And he got up as soon as the preacher was done and was out the door leaving his grandparents behind. By the time I came out of the church he was long gone. I felt sad for him, but I never knew he returned the feeling I had for him before.

All of a sudden, Eliza was at my side, "Rachel, please let me give you a wedding shower!" she blurted out excitedly.

"Well, Eliza I hadn't thought of having one yet." I replied, knowing that girls always had showers when they were getting married. Some had several. It hadn't even crossed my mind to have one.

"You are getting married in June and it is already April! You need to do showers now. I want to give you one  because I am your closest friend,"  she smiled at me.

"I'll speak to Mother and see what she says."

"Thanks Rachel. Remember I asked first so I want to give you the first shower," then Eliza skipped off toward a group of girls giggling near the shady spot under the trees. I used to be one of those girls giggling and acting silly. My sisters were with them now. I felt so grown up now and looked around to see who might be grown up enough for me to talk to.

Suddenly Mrs. Nelsen was standing next to me. She looked at me for a minute before speaking, "Rachel honey, I always thought you'd be part of our family married to my grandson, Kent. I don't need to tell you how disappointed he is to find out about your up coming marriage."

"Mrs. Nelsen, I am sorry......" I didn't know what to say to her. I felt bad about Kent. To be honest though, I  am now looking forward to marrying Avery Longworth. I don't know why.

She nodded. "I know honey. It is your folks' doing. Kent knows. Just sorry about it. Sorry about my grandson's heart being broken. I know it is not your fault." She hugged me close and then was gone following her husband through the crowd of people around the sidewalk in front of the church.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016