Wisdom from a Godly Old Man

I just met B.W. Miller Sr., a local mountain man who grew up on a potato farm in the Howard’s Creek area. He now lives on his great granddaddy’s farm. His dad was also surveyor, which he did until he was in his seventies. One day he was with his dad surveying and he said, “Let’s go back to the house, B.W., I just can’t figure any more.” Mr. Miller is now eighty-four years old but still works every day with his son taking care of beef cattle. He explained, “When my son was little he used tottle around after me everywhere I went. Now that I’m old, I tottle around him everywhere he goes.”

As I continued to talk with him, I realized that this was a man who had allowed the experiences of life and the truth of God to give him depth and fullness. So, standing in the driveway with the Spring sunlight shining on us, I took advantage of this brief opportunity and asked, “What is the most important piece of advice you would give a young man?”

He didn’t really have to think about it. He looked at me for a moment, as if to determine how serious I was about my question. Then he answered, “Take care of your wife.” As tears filled his eyes, he repeated, “Take care of your wife. Take care of her . . . every day. She’s the most precious thing you have. And take care of your children. . . . You have to communicate with your wife and children. Be sure you talk to them. I’ve been married for 54 years and me and my wife have never had a fightin’ quarrel. We have had disagreements, but no quarrel. . . . I learned that when she’s ill, I’m to be careful. And when I’m ill, she’s careful. . . . And when you get old, after 54 years of marriage, you keep taking care of her. She’s not doing so well now and I still take care of her every day.”