|What are people thinking? From a sentiment posted to an obituary today: I'm so sorry to hear of you'r loss. Huh? Whose loss would that be exactly? What missing letter(s) is the apostrophe representing?|
I got a good night's sleep, though I did wake up once or twice absolutely soaked and stuck to my sheets and pillow. Gross.
Dear Uncle Frank,
In August of 2007, a dear friend of mine called me and asked me if I would devise and deliver her eulogy when “the time came.”
Having never written a eulogy before, after receiving my friend’s request, I did what any person of my generation would do; I searched the Internet for, “How to write a eulogy.” Everything I read told me that I should interview several people in the deceased’s life, and share who she was as a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a grandmother or a friend. My initial thought was, “Okay, easy enough. She has no shortage of loved ones in her life.”
But, as you know, I’ve spent a lot of my life wondering, and worrying, about what other people think of me. And as I’ve grown older I’ve come to accept the ancient wisdom that you have no control over what other people think about you—and in the end, it’s what you think of, and how you value, yourself that’s important.
And in that moment, I thought, “I’m going to visit my friend, and I’m going to find out how she feels about the time that she’s spent here so far. So, in January of this year, in North Augusta, SC, I spent an afternoon with her, asking her these heavy questions:
- What would you consider your biggest accomplishment in life?
- What is your most treasured memory?
- What person in your life made a significant contribution to you being where you are in your life? What did they contribute?
- What is the hardest lesson that you ever learned?
- What was the last thing you did that was totally out of your comfort zone? What did you get out of it, or learn from it?
- What do you consider to be the greatest gift you’ve ever given to anybody?
- What is your favorite book in the world, and why is it your favorite?
- What is the most frightened you’ve ever been in your life?
- Who is the person you most admire in life, and what trait in that person do you admire the most?
And the old standby:
- If you could talk to one person (living or dead) who would it be, and what would you ask that person?
So, what does that have to do with you? This wasn’t solely an interview of her, but a conversation that she and I had for a few hours. We both answered the questions.
And, what I wanted to share with you was a revelation that I had in discussing question number three with her, “What person in your life made a significant contribution to you being where you are in your life? What did they contribute?”
While thinking about that one, it occurred to me that you were such a person in my life. When I think about how “driven” I am, “committed” to finishing projects, a “stickler for details,” and just my general “persistence” in life, I can’t help but believe that those traits in me came about as a young boy watching a man day after day chiseling segments of stone to fit on the walls of his home like pieces of a huge jigsaw puzzle of the heart and mind.
I’m sure at that time, at about 12 or 13 years old, I was indelibly impressed with how someone could work on a project that might take almost as long as I had lived on the earth at that point, etching all of those traits deep into my psyche.
And, so, I just wanted to let you know this—that you have made a huge difference in my life, and for that, I’m forever grateful. I pray that that same drive, commitment, and persistence will help you get through the huge challenge you are now facing with regards to your health.
Thank you for being there for me, when my father was away. I love you, Uncle Frank.
I worked from home today.
Someone on Twitter pointed to this blog called Dirt & Noise. I love this woman's writing. I looked at her last three entries, and were engaged by all three of them:
Don't cha wish your momma were hot like me? (You'll never think of sweaty breasts the same again.)
5:00 Fridays. (I particularly like the Myers-Briggs ENFJ part. I'm an ESFJ, myself, sharing each element except the S & N, which are the details vs. big picture, practical vs. imaginative, and the live in the here and now vs. the eye toward the future differences. All that is to say, is that I could definitely relate to her writing about being a "J.")
Smiling faces. Beautiful Places. For Heterosexuals only.
I may have to subscribe to her blog.
I had committed to meet my friend Steve (from Atlanta and the In The Woods Campground) at Flex tonight for karaoke, since he was in town for a three-day IBM meeting.
It was good to see him, and to show him the hole that Flex is.
After he left, Curt (pipe-smoking) came in and over to hug me and I said, "I'm sick honey. I have a fever."
He immediately gave me the evil eye. "If you have a fever, then you're contagious. I've got an 80-year old mother that I have to take care of and I can't be getting her sick."
"Okay," I said. "I had no idea that having a fever meant you were contagious."
After that, Micheal Lester, who is also a "hanger" and at times a "personal space invader," came next to me, and I said, "I've been told that I'm contagious, because I have a fever."
He put his hand on my forehead and then just screamed, "Oh my god. You do have a fever. You're contagious. What are you doing out?"
Although, according to Fever Myths Busted, this is not necessarily true, since a lot of people seem to believe it, I may use it get anybody invading my personal space away from me from now on.
Joe and I left there at about 12:30, I guess. I was exhausted, and did feel like I had a little bit of a fever still, but Joe recommended not taking Aspirin after drinking, so I went to bed without taking any.