April 15, 2013


So the blog has been silent for a few days and it is with good reason. Earl and I made the trek to Earl’s hometown to attend the memorial service of our brother-in-law. It was good to see the family as it has been way too long since we last saw them, however, we really need to get down there on happier occasions. It really pained me to see my in-laws grieving; I don’t do well with seeing others feel pain.

I wasn’t particularly close to my brother-in-law; we always had pleasant conversations but we didn’t have a lot in common. I could tell that he loved his family very much and that he seemed happy in the little niche of the world he had carved out for himself. As long as a person is happy that’s all that matters.

During the service, some thoughts that had been written by his wife were shared with the congregation. The words and the feelings that they conveyed were very moving as there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. That, and the military presentation, were the hardest things emotionally. However, there was one passage shared during the reading/eulogy that really, really affected me.

“No matter how upset or angry he was, he never yelled at me”. These were the words of my sister-in-law. I never knew that. I admire that. And I learned something from that.

My father always said my mother had a tendency to “bark back” due to the fact that she has red hair. I think I might have inherited that trait a little bit; I am often asked to stop hollering when I get passionate about something. There’s a chance that I might have a bit of a temper and to tell you the truth, that’s not something that I’m really proud of. I don’t know that I have ever accomplished anything by yelling a lot, but to be fair, years ago I worked in an environment where yelling was the only way you could get your point across. It’s still not something I’m proud of and it’s something that I really need to get a handle on. Yelling and cussing are two things that I find to be unnecessary and they’re two things that I need to stop doing.

So while the tears formed in my eyes during the memorial service on Friday night, I have to thank my brother-in-law for teaching me a little something through his actions as conveyed by his family. If I stop in mid-sentence during a passionate conversation, know that I’m taking a few deep breaths and trying to keep everything in check.

I guess we’re never too old to learn.