By Delilah McMasters
Goodness, I like men. I get it from my mother. Man, Judy Evelyn liked some men! To say she had been around the block a time or two was an understatement. It was more like a long and twisting road, with potholes, and a hairpin turn! Don't let that saintly persona she has adopted in her elderly years fool ya, Big Booty Judy would drive a man like she stole him and park him on the side of the road after his engine blew. Men were attracted to her crazy. They didn't know if she was going to be fun or carve her name on the side of their car with her keys. Thank God and Baby Jesus, she had a penchant for finding good husbands who didn't mind stepping up and taking care of her and her two kids.
Mother and my dad married when they were babies. Babies having babies isn't a good combination, lots of drama and fighting. Divorce was the only option. He wasn't around much and mother wasn't good at being alone. So, she went out and got us a bonafide "Daddy."
Daddy had a job he went to every day, and he doted on my baby sister, still does to this day. The man never lost his temper, always brought bags of candy on payday, and never asked if we had child support or insurance. He just gave. We spent summers fishing and gardening. There were chickens, cows and pigs. Porch swings and tire swings. A long dusty dirt road and a shop that sat to the side of the property where we all sat when Mother was on the warpath and throwing hissy fits. It broke my sister's heart when a bratty kid at school told her Daddy wasn't her REAL Daddy. Mother and Daddy were together about 12 years and then Mother got antsy and headed out for greener pastures.
John was, and is, Mother's greener pastures. John strapped that seatbelt on and never looked back! If Daddy was our savior, then John is our Saint. He took mother on with two teenage daughters with attitudes and no modesty and never lost his sense of humor. My baby sister gave him hell, she didn't need a Daddy, she had one, and she didn't hand over respect willy nilly, it had to be earned. John accepted the challenge.
When we showed up for breakfast in t-shirts and ate peanut butter and syrup on biscuits, he didn't know where to look or what to say. We passed him the peanut butter and he learned to roll with having three females in the house. He had never been around teenage girls, but he accepted we were high-maintenance pains in the ass and he put us to work helping out at restaurants, catering and stumping for his elections and any and all of his many endeavors, and made sure along the way we learned how to use the right fork at formal dinners.
John worked three jobs most of the time, never said a word when we came home to reorganize our lives, and stepped naturally into the Poppa role when we had kids and loved them with his whole heart. Poppa always cooks everyone's favorites and takes pride in all of his grandkids’ accomplishments, it’s like he endured all of us to get to finish line where grandkids were the grand prize.
These days Mother pretty much stays parked in the garage and lets John drive her around. He's a good man. Big Booty Judy and John have been married 34 years and he's never wavered having Mother's back and always keeps her demons at bay, and trust me, that's not an easy task. At the end of the day, though, Mother can say without a doubt, what's in your trunk and rear view mirror doesn't matter much, just make sure you find someone you would trust your kids with before you hand over the keys.
Delilah McMasters is a local resident and the mother of six. Reach her at BlessYourHeart76063@gmail.com
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.