Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “love”

Love Is Not Abstract

It was a good funeral for a good man.

Martin’s funeral was yesterday. We used to practice law in the same firm a couple decades ago. I liked him. When I learned of his death, I planned to attend the funeral and I am glad that I did.

His widow, grown daughters, sons in law, grandchildren, and even one great grandchild filled the first several pews of the sanctuary. Part of the service involved some of his granddaughters giving sweet tributes to him. It was clear that they loved their grampa and are sadly mourning his new absence from their lives. They will miss his involvement with them on this side of Heaven.

The priest gave a good homily. He referred to the many references to love in the abstract in our culture — in songs and romantic movies, in advertising and Valentine cards. But in reality, love is not abstract. It is concrete. It is shown in how we participate in each others’ lives. It is shown in how we interact with our family and friends. It is demonstrated in how we live with our spouses.

And here is a powerful truth: Love does not die. It lasts well after a loved one leaves this life.

I have no doubt that Martin was, and is still, well-loved. He must have loved those people who miss him so because they clearly loved him and always will. I believe that Martin still loves them right back.

The Teacher Who Could Not Learn

I know a couple whose daughter was born with many severe problems.  The doctors did not expect the baby to survive, but she fooled the experts and lived nine years.

The little girl’s name was Abby.  She had two older, healthy, athletic, bright  brothers.

Abby’s  mother spoke at her funeral, which I attended.

She said that the doctors did not believe that Abby’s minimal brain was capable of thought.  She could not learn.  She never walked or talked.  She could not even roll over.  She was utterly helpless her entire life.

Her mother then offered a profound insight.  Abby could not learn, but she could teach.  She taught patience, she taught acceptance, and she taught kindness.

I suspect she felt love.  In her small world, she was always secure.  She lived at home and was cared for by her parents and brothers and occasional friends and professional caregivers who gave the family a break from their constant responsibilities.

She was loved!  Who can prove whether she felt love?  Who can say whether she perceived love? Who can say whether she loved back?

Now, Abby is in Heaven.  I  say with confidence that now, at least, she knows.  Now she is whole.  Now she loves her brothers and parents.  Now she knows they loved and still love her.  Now she knows what a extraordinary teacher she was for them and many others.

God blessed the world with Abby, the teacher who could not learn.

Vows Kept, Vows Broken

I am happily married, a blessing that I do not take for granted.

In the past three weeks, two men have confided in me that their wives have been unfaithful and they are getting divorces.  Both have children.  The news makes me very sad.  I am a lawyer, but not a divorce lawyer.  They were not asking me to represent them, nor for a referral.  They were talking to me as a friend.

I do not intend to imply that women do not suffer the pain of having unfaithful spouses to the same extent, but women are not likely to tell me about it.  They seek support from other women mostly.  I suppose these men talked to me about their pain because I am another guy and would not have shared with me if I was a woman. 

One of the men was served the divorce papers at church.  Maybe his wife had a reason, but I cannot imagine what it was.  He was living in the family home.  She knew where to find him.  How do people who vowed to love and honor one another “as long as you both shall live” fall so low?

I am certain these wives each have another side to the story.  Obviously, they are unhappy with their husbands, maybe for good reasons that I do not know about. 

I’m just sad.  A marriage between partners who stick together “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,” is a wonderful mutually supportive and loving relationship.  A marriage between people who betray and hurt is the antithesis of love.  It takes two to make a marriage work, but only one to destroy it.  One hand cannot clap alone.

I think I better quit writing this and go give my wife a big hug.

Winning Miss Texas

This is a poem that was first published in The Fence Post magazine several years ago.   Karen, aka Sugar, my wife, was the Miss USA pageant beauty queen, but I like to say that I won Miss Texas


Beauty on the outside

Is not the only kind.

There also is an inside

With heart and soul and mind.


Miss Texas won the looks event

And deserved it for obvious reasons,

But my vote today is really meant

For a beauty that’s even more pleasin’.


My Miss Texas wins another class,

One judged on inner quality.

She has more than just a nice ass.

Her heart is willing to love me.


I love her loving heart so much!

I admire her talents, I do!

There’s more than looks, there’s also touch

And I’m glad to say she can cook too!



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