In your marriage did you ever make a big mistake, a blunder, and error, or a faux pas? I did. In October of 1950, I was recalled to active duty in the Naval Reserve because of the war in Korea. Doris and I had been married 13 months when I received my orders to report to the staff of Comtrans Div 21 in Little Creek, Virginia. During my tour of active duty with Comtrans Div 21, my command was ordered to the Mediterranean for a tour of duty lasting four months.
We arrived in Little Creek, Virginia in mid October after 15 days at sea. Our second child was due in late November, so I have requested leave after he was born. Our first son was born on November 28th and I returned home to see the new addition. When I unpacked my things I found the tube with the new portrait inside. I proudly gave it to Doris as a memento of my return from sea duty. She opened the tube and unrolled the portrait and examined it with great expectation. There was a long silence, I thought, “Oh no, she sees the same thing I did when I decided to take the portrait, she’s not pleased with it”. Finally Doris said, “My eyes are blue, not brown!” I was speechless. I felt like an animal that had walked into a trap and the door slammed shut. How do I get out of this? Well, sometimes you don’t. I had made a big mistake, a blunder, and error, a faux pas.
I’m glad Doris does not hold a grudge. She could have said, “That’s all right honey, I forgive you,” but she didn’t. In fact she didn’t say anything at all except, “my eyes are blue.” I volunteered to have the brown eyes painted blue by an artist and she said, “Ok” without much enthusiasm. The eyes were painted blue by Doris and the portrait went back into the tube for safekeeping.
The portrait stayed in the tube amongst our stuff through two more children and five moves, the last one being our move to Florida after I retired. That adds up to 43 years the portrait stayed in drawers, closets, and chests. After our move to Florida in our present home, Doris decided to take the portrait and have it framed. After all those years, the portrait with blue eyes was framed and ready to hang. After considering several places to hang the portrait, she decided to hang it on our bedroom wall. The particular place where this hangs is directly in my sight as soon as I wake up and the last thing I see when I go to sleep. I think it was to remind me twice a day of that big mistake I made 43 years ago. I’d rather believe that after 43 years Doris is saying “I forgive you for your big mistake.”
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