Monday, January 28, 2013


Whatever anybody says extended family members affect couples lives. When we were married my youngest brothers were only 5 years old. We lived fairly close to my family, and we would often watch them when my parents traveled. He loved to rough-house with the boys, and I think their upbringing would have been much more sedate if He had not been in the picture.

He spent a lot of time with them. If He had a Saturday free, He would often take them on adventures. I used to think He mostly offered my brothers a testosterone outlet. I am sure they never discussed literature, culture, or philosophy while together (my dad took care of that pretty well). In fact He is not what you would call a conversationalist. He has to have something to say to bother with a discussion. Since He is part of their earliest memories, they are as much brothers, as I am their sister. They spent less time at our house as they grew older, but He maintained a constant presence in the lives of my brothers.

My brothers grew up and left home. After they were on their own, He received a letter from one of them. In it he expressed heartfelt appreciation for all He had done for him and told Him what a great example He was to him. What touched me most about the letter was that he said out of all the people in his life, He taught him what integrity was. I don't remember my brother's words exactly, but they had a powerful impact on me. Sometimes I think He is a little rough around the edges (and I like that about Him). I realized maybe I hadn't given Him credit for impacting their lives in a more principled way. Virtue (as defined by the ancient Greeks), comes in all shapes and sizes, even with a five o'clock shadow.

He set an example... more reason I love Him.

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