Call Us “Collect”

By Robert F. Turner

We do not expect this article to appeal to every one  just those parents who have “married off’ a daughter or who face that dreadful day in the future. Vivian and I joined the clan several years ago  and lived to marvel that “that man” who was so unworthy of our girl could father such wonderful grandchildren, and become such a grand son-in-law. We appreciate this story, heard in California, right down to the last line.

A preacher had given his darling daughter in holy wedlock and joined the two “’till death do you part”; and then witnessed the loading of the honeymoon car  including the teddy bear she had kept on her dresser. Mother kissed the young couple and collapsed in the living room to cry it out; but father bravely carried the last item to the car and then slowly walked the bride to the side of her waiting husband. Now was the time for those memorable parting words  the warm fatherly advice that would sustain her in trying times words to live by! And what did he say? He told me all about it.

“Darling, your mother and I have watched you grow from our precious baby to beautiful womanhood. You have brightened our every day and spread light into the darkest moments of our lives. We have never had reason to doubt you, and although you may not always have understood our efforts to direct your paths, we want you to know that only love and a sincere desire to make you happy have been our motives.

“But now the time has come to open the cage and let our darling fly away. You have married the man of your choice, and a new family is being formed. As much as we love you and hate to see you go, your tie with this home is broken.

“You must now depend upon your husband for those things we once gave you. Go to him for your daily needs. Go to him for counsel, for comfort, for support. You must not complicate your own family relationship by turning to mother and me. Settle your own problems, and learn to live your own life apart from us.”

Then, as the car began to move from the curb, the father ran along-side and called once more to his daughter: “And if you ever need anything  anything at all  just call us collect!” (Reprint from Robert F. Turner, Stuff About Things, 77, by permission)

Guardian of Truth XL: 5 p. 1
March 7, 1996