Category: Loss


Humble and Kind

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Always be humble and kind.

Tim McGraw sings it….
Beautifully.

This man lived it….
Fully.

I was on my way home from my weekly manicure date with my grandma tonight,
With my grandpa on my heart,
When this song came on the radio.

The words are lovely and loving.
More so because they fit my Grandpa to a T.

It’s been 25 years since stupid cancer stole him from us too soon.
25 years…..
And yet I can still hear his voice in moments of quiet,
moments of incessant noise,
moments I need him near.

My grandpa was a man of wisdom and wit.
And 1,001 saying to fit the world.

“Christmas in July” when my Grandma walked in the room.
“What do you mean?” I once asked.
“Oh, Honey. I’m so blessed to have your Grandma…it’s like Christmas in July!”

They just don’t make love like that every day….

“If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem,” when I had a whiny moment.
“But Grandpa….” I’d plead.
“Well???”

‘Nuff said.  And he’s right. It’s a lesson I’ve taken to heart. It pushes me ever forward.

“Study long; study wrong!”
…OK….
This one was about playing dominoes.
Which he NEVER “let” us win.

But what tremendous life lessons we learned while shaking the bones at the kitchen table!

“You got your driver’s license?”
…every single time we got in the car.
His way of saying, “I love you.  Be safe. Take care. And behave!”

….and do you know?  I carry my license everywhere!

Humble and Kind.
That’s him.

Alfred Hoerig.
A simple man.
A great man.
Humble and kind,
Indeed.

Then sings my soul…..

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Twice this year, we’ve had to say goodbye too soon to giant men with giant hearts, giant humor and giant love for their friends and family.

Twice…
Stupid cancer.

Twice this week, my husband has been gifted with a bag of clothes from the closet of these friends.

Twice….
Lovely thoughts.

In one bag, shorts.
In the other, shirts and camo hunting gear.
Both bags full of so much more than clothes.

Sorting through the thread and cloth, I’m struck by the threads that tie us all together.
Some we can see.
Some are invisible to the naked eye….
But not to the heart.

Rick, the first friend lost, was the one who would call or text and say, “Krista. That shirt your huusband wore today has GOT to disappear.”
He was the one to keep Michael looking sharp.
Rick was also the one to keep him honest, start the smack-talk, and generally keep things rolling with a laugh, a smile, and a tsk tsk tsk. His blue eyes always twinkled with an impish gleam… Looking for and celebrating the joys and chuckles of life.

Steve, memorialized just weeks ago, would never have dreamed of telling me to throw out anything – no matter how faded, worn or full of holes. In all honesty, I don’t think he ever even noticed.
He was the one who would challenge with an observation, a thought, a subtle wisecrack you never saw coming, but I don’t think he ever saw the outside of anyone….his blue eyes looked right into a person.

Both men hunted.
Rick got his beautiful trophy buck on a “bucket list hunt” with his closest friends…. Michael was there.
Steve hunted, too….but he spent his time reading great books, drinking Diet Coke and perhaps occasionally watching some deer. He paid for his spot on the lease for decades – just to spend time with the guys he loved.

Stupid cancer took them from us.
Far, far too soon.

But stupid cancer doesn’t win.

The blue eyes and brotherhood lives on.
Not through the clothes.
Not even just through the memories.

Clothes don’t make the man.
But the threads of friendship that are woven in, out, and throughout our lives….
These things make the MEN….
They make the WOMEN.
They make US.

Then sings my soul….
It’s a melancholy song tonight.
But the joy and love on which it’s built will find its way through.

In time.
A stitch in time….and the threads weave on.