Sunday, November 10, 2019

Honor


Honor
By: Kelli J Gavin 

When my grandmother passed, I felt defeated and utterly broken. She was the last of my grandparents left and I mourned the loss of our truly great matriarch. She was bold and vibrant, loving and forgiving, and an inspiration to anyone who had the honor to be in her presence.  Her loss spurred such a season of mourning and grief in my life, that I worried I would never pull myself from the miry pit where I seemed to dwell. 

Receiving a phone call from my grandmother's attorney was the last call I expected two months after her passing.  My grandfather passed away the summer before and I was under the impression that in their old age they had spent everything they had and that was left were the social security and survivor benefit checks that faithfully arrived each month in the mail and the equity in the roof that covered their heads. When the attorney left two and then three messages on my answering service, I knew I needed to make time to return his call. 

"Ms. Garlow, thank you for calling back. I was concerned that you had moved or that I was going to have to stop by your place of business to ensure contact. I would like to request a meeting as soon as possible.  I have sold your grandparent's home, liquidated a small life insurance plan which paid for your grandmother's funeral and final expenses and hired a small company to clear out their home. Anything that is sentimental and all furniture is now housed in the dinning room on the main floor and the rest of the home is vacant. The final sale will be complete the first of next month and I need you to claim anything that you wish to keep and give me the final instructions for the disposal of the rest of the physical property. Could we meet this Friday morning at 9 a.m. at the house?  We should be finished by 11 a.m.  Please bring a truck or trailer and at least two people to carry and pack the furniture and belongings." Mr. Smithers spoke so quickly, I wasn't tracking.

"Mr. Smithers, I am sorry.  What did you say? 9 a.m. this Friday?  I already have a truck and don't anticipate wanting to keep more than I can haul.  I will hire two men to arrive by 9:30 a.m. and they can start loading while we finish any paperwork and other business." I replied. 

"Splendid.  I will see you then.  You should know that there were instructions about a few pieces, but we can talk about all that when we meet. Have a good day and I look forward to seeing you." Mr. Smithers quickly hung up the phone. 

Pondering Mr. Smithers comments about instructions on a few pieces,  I found my mind going down rabbit trails the next few days.  Calling to secure a team of two men from the local college service agency,  I also made sure that I had plenty of thick blankets and boxes paper for anything that I chose to take with me. Busying myself with preparations for the meeting on Friday made me feel better.  I noticed by Thursday morning, I didn't feel so sad constantly.  I was still mourning, but didn't think that sudden tears were threatening to flood my cheeks at anytime.  

Friday morning as I pulled up to my grandparent's home, I couldn't help but smile as all of my childhood memories came rushing back to me.  Times spent running in the backyard sprinklers, sitting on the back porch eating watermelon with my grandfather, and helping my grandmother decorate the large home each Christmas.  Beautiful memories that I knew I would always hold dear. 

Mr. Smithers greeted me at the front door as I reached the top stair of the front porch. "Wonderful, I am glad there was a close parking space by the curb. This street is usually quite full, even during the day. I have the papers ready to go here in the dinning room."  

We both sat down and he pushed two pens in my direction.  There were flags on each page and I had no desire to read each document, so I quickly sifted through and signed each spot.  Three packets had been prepared for my signature.  Two pertaining to the sale of the home, and the last pile was for the distribution of a few small leftover investment assets, liquidating and closing bank accounts, and selling everything that I didn't want. I also signed a form which reimbursed Mr. Smithers for his extra time spent on everything involving clearing out the home and hiring packers and movers. 

My hand cramped near the end of third packet.  As I passed the signed pages and pens back to Mr. Smithers, I glanced around the room at all of my grandparent's belongings.  Hearing a knock on the door and conversation,  the moving men entered the dinning room and introduced themselves. Quickly giving instructions about belongings that I knew I wanted immediately, I asked the two young men to take the china hutch, the two side tables and coffee table that were once in the living room and sideboard from the dinning room. I located the China and kitchen dishes that had been carefully packed and labeled and my grandmother's jewelry, my grandfather's World War II memorabilia and all of the photo albums, journals and family keepsakes. I found my grandfather's black trench coat and my grandmother's furs.  Not sure that I wanted either, I knew I wasn't yet ready to part with them. I placed a star on each box I wanted and then moved a few vases that were still sitting on the sideboard to be wrapped and also placed in my truck.  I didn't have a need for any of the beds, dressers or the dinning room table or chairs, but knew I still needed to locate the sheets and towels.  My grandmother had the most beautiful pillow cases I had ever seen and I always knew someday that I would want those hand embroidered pieces of art so that I could continue to treasure them in my own home. 

As I made my way to the back of the large row of labeled boxes,  I found the sheets and pillowcases in the very last box on the floor placed next to my grandfather's chest. An audible gasp left my lips as I remember the last time that I saw the chest as a child.  

"Never, ever touch that chest.  That chest is your grandfather's and no one is allowed to touch it." My grandmother declared. 

"But what is in it?" I asked.

"That is none of your business.  I have never been allowed to touch it either.  Just promise me, your hands will never even grace the hinges.  Promise me."  Never seeing my grandmother so serious before, I instantly promised her I wouldn't touch the chest.  I was fascinated by the fleur-de-lis metal adornments and the rope handles.  It took everything that was in me to not touch the chest which sat in the basement of their old home.  I always wanted to even get a glance of it down at the bottom of the rickety stairs. And then one day, it was gone.  I knew not to ask about the chest and then I just forgot that it seemed to be missing from the bottom of the stairs.  

"Ms. Garlow. You should know that one of the things that your grandmother had listed in her final instructions was in regard to the chest.  Your grandmother wrote that under no circumstance was I to disburse of the chest on my own. That the chest was for you and it needed to go to your home. That opening it wasn't an option. You have to take the entire chest, contents and all."  I smirked at the attorneys final disclosure.  That sounded exactly like something my grandmother would request. 

"I will take the chest and I promise not to open it until I get home.  I think I am done with putting a star on all the boxes.  Those movers have done a great job loading all the furniture.  I am going to go outside and make sure that they started loading the boxes safely for transport."  When I went outside, I found only one box that should be moved as it was lighter than all the rest.  

Returning indoors I perused the boxes to make sure that each one with a star had already been taken outside and pointed to the chest.  "Don't open it. Just put it on the floor boards of the front seat of the truck."

"Of course ma'am." The second mover quickly replied.  

Mr. Smithers had also been given strict instructions from my grandmother from my grandmother to tell me about who had purchased the home, once purchase papers had been signed and the final sale was pending. 

Once everything was loaded,  I decided to do one final walk through of the home. The amazing home that I loved as a child.  Saying a silent prayer for the family that purchased the home, I prayed for the children, that they would enjoy each room as much as I did. I prayed for the parents that would raise their kids in the home the same way my grandparent's raised my mom and her siblings. Heading home, the two moving men that I hired, followed me in their car. So pleased with their hard work after they had brought all of the furniture and boxes into my home and positioned each where I had requested, I paid the two gentlemen in cash and tipped them well.  I remembered what it was like to be a struggling college student. 

I had requested that the chest be put on the coffee table in front of the couch.  Sitting down slowly,  I steeled myself for what I would find.  Slowly, as the chest creaked open, the smell of cedar and lavender wafted out.  My grandmother had placed the cedar chips and lavender swags to fight against any musty odors that may have sunk in over the years. Sitting in front of the open chest, I stared in disbelief.  

Apparently, the Purple Heart that had always been rumored to have been awarded to my grandfather, had found its resting place inside of the scarred chest.  My grandfather had never spoken of his wartime experiences, and even denied being hurt during war and subsequently sent home.  He had mentioned that so many of his friends had lost their lives, and he was grateful to ever make it home.  I remember my mother questioning if he thought he was diminishing the experience of those that served and gave their lives when he was only wounded and had the rest of his life to live. Whatever the reason, he valued the Purple Heart enough to keep it and store it for safety.  

Next to the treasured medal, was a picture of my grandmother and grandfather.  Oh, how young my grandmother looked. I believed the picture was from when they were dating, and turning it over I received confirmation. A handwritten note from my grandmother read, "Come home to me.  I will be waiting for you. You are loved."  Tears poked at the corners of my eyes.  Underneath, I found my grandfather's class ring from high school, his class ring from college and the small framed award he had received when he had reached 25 years on the job. I also found my grandfather's watch and wedding ring which my grandmother must have carefully packed away after his passing. Beneath all of these beautiful items, I found something I never expected.  There was a single envelope addressed to my grandmother with her maiden name from my grandfather when he was stationed in Europe during the war. The envelope was never sealed, nor was it torn open.  The flap had been neatly tucked inside of the envelope.  



"April 11, 1942

Lovely,
I miss you more each day. Know that I will always love you.  I won't overwhelm you with the details, but I am struggling and concerned that I may never see you again.  My friends are dying. More and more every day.  I have seen so much killing, so much death.  I can't imagine how I will make it three more months, even three more days.  If we are not meant to be married, if I do not return, know that I want you to be happy. Find someone who loves you the way you deserve, someone who will treat you like a queen and give you all the babies you want. But promise me you will be happy.  Promise me.  I need to know this one thing.  I love you.  I love you. I love you. Always. 
Love, 
Me"

Tears streaming down my face, I took the envelope from the table.  The envelope had never been posted. My grandfather wrote this letter and never sent it to my grandmother. Checking the date on the top of the letter, indeed, he returned just over 3 months later to the United States.  He loved her the moment he met her, when he was drafted and was forced to leave her, all while he served his country, and he loved her the moment he was reunited with her after a 13 month tour of duty. He loved her and this letter wasn't meant for her to see, as he planned on returning home to his soon to be bride.  It also wasn't meant for me to see either. Until now.  

That day was the day when I knew that things wouldn't always be so hard.  It wouldn't always hurt so much to continue each day without my grandparents.  I would always miss them, but grief would no longer be so heartbreaking.

Thankful for these treasures, I opened the China hutch which was placed in the new desired location in my dining room. The Purple Heart, the wedding ring and picture, the watch, both class rings and the letter in the envelope were all placed accordingly on the top shelf. A shelf of honor. 








Saturday, November 2, 2019

Do You Care?



My daughter is a little drama queen. She loves music and singing and acting in plays. She also loves swimming. She lacks any sort of talent when it comes to sports, but can ride a scooter like it was her God given gift. My son loves drawing, golf, swimming and going for walks. Everything he enjoys is a very solitude act.

My husband and I have always enabled our kids to choose their activities.  We never forced them to participate in tee ball, little league or even any team sports. I never encouraged my daughter to try gymnastics, dance or baton like I had when I was young.  But I also never encouraged it.  We never signed them up for anything and then made the go against their will. However, there was a week long summer dance clinic that made me feel like that week was actually going to kill me in the end. My kids swim in the backyard in the summer when they want.  The go for walks and scooter rides. They tell us when they want to go to the golf course, the driving range or Top Golf. We are a content family without surrounding ourselves with the busyness of organized team sports.

We are also content with the idea of our kids not being involved in a ton of other activities. We make it a priority for our kids to attend church youth group on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. We also make sure that if our daughter wants to be in a play or volunteer through school or church, that she is able to do so.  We encourage our kids to have fun through doing the things that they like to do and we don't force them to do the things they may not enjoy just because other kids participate in those activities.  I never want to be a parent that passes on a Keeping Up With the Jones mentality to the next generation.  And that attitude can be formed when it comes to the acquisition of things or the participation in events or activities.

I have been asked if Josh and I have any plans for Lily to become involved in any additional activities.  Um.  No.  What?  Why? My daughter is in 7th grade, has asthma, lacks any coordination whatsoever to excel in any sport, but loves to act in two plays each school year, sing in choir, volunteer after school each fall and at church every other Sunday.  I have full confidence that she enjoys every activity she participates in and doesn't begrudge Josh or I for forced participation. Parents are already talking about college and scholarships and resumes.  My mind can't even wrap itself around the fact that we have two teenagers.  I can't even yet imagine the idea of Lily going to college.

Parents are a funny thing.  Of course we all want whats best for our kids.  But sometimes, parents fall into the comparison game. They even take more pride in the personal accomplishments of their children than they do in anything they have done.  And that pride can morph into a raging machine when they want to make sure that every other parent knows how well their kids are doing in comparison to other children. 

Nope. I just don't have time for it.  A humble brag, yes.  My kid is having fun in a play at school. The performance is this weekend. So proud of her.  Not- My daughter is the most amazing actress ever. - And then try to recruit the entire family and friend sphere to attend a performance of a junior high play.  Or- My kid loves to draw and he has really improved over the last two years.- Then post updated drawings.  Not- print out a million copies and and distribute them to everyone including the lady stocking fruit at the grocery store. 

My goal each day is to love my kids, encourage my kids and point them to Jesus.  My goal isn't to fill their day and frankly my day with more activities and more stress that make them feel like they just want to make it through each day rather than enjoy and savor every moment. 

Do I care that my daughter won't have the most padded resume or activity involvement when it comes to college applications? No. I do not.  But I do care that she has a kind heart. I do care that she enjoys helping others. And I care that she has time to play with friends, time to read, time to play games with her family and time to be a kid.  Because in a few short years, this world is going to ask an awful lot of her. This school will ask her to be an adult in a world where adults aren't very nice to each other.  This world will ask her to compete for positions in school and for jobs.  This world will ask her to focus on everything that doesn't matter rather than focus on the condition of her heart and mind.

So, for now,  I will not push.  I will not sign her up. I will not pester. I will not beg. I will not make her do anything she isn't interested in or be involved in anything she doesn't enjoy.  Because today, we are focusing on her being a kid. On having fun.  On smiling and laughing.  On enjoying this day that we have been gifted.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Never Disturb



Wondering what brought on a rush of emotions the other night, my husband wiped a few of my tears and gently asked me what was wrong.  My feelings were deeply hurt when I reviewed a text history with a friend. I realized that I was the one texting. I was the one asking questions.  I was the one initiating every interaction we had.  I continued to put in the effort and hadn't caught on that the effort wasn't appreciated.  That the effort hadn't been appreciated in quite some time.

I wish I could say that this is the first time it has happened to me. That it was the only time I shed a tear over a friendship when I realized it had played its course. After drying my own tears, I fondly remembered what my mom had said more than once when I was growing up. "Never chase anyone. I don't care if it is a friend or a boy. Some relationships are meant to last. Some, for only a short while. When you learn who will stay, hold on to them."

I think my mom knew a little about relationships playing their course. She had watched friends come and go. She had also grieved as she experienced her marriage to my dad crumble.  A personality larger than life,  she was driven, focused and sometimes too much to take in.  People felt overwhelmed by her.  But I realize now as an adult, that the relationships my mom lost, said more about the person who walked away than it ever did about her.

When someone loves another person fiercely, it can be scary and often disarming.  What if a person was hurt, even expected to be hurt,  and built up a few walls of protection in the mean time?  When all that love is directed at someone, it can be overwhelming. And usually when people are overwhelmed, they either shut down or flee.  And flee was what I saw people do when it came to my mom.  No longer answering phone calls,  not available to hang out or meet for a quick meal. And eventually,  that friend, that person who was once so close, was a fond memory. 

Never chase anyone.  I always listened to my mom. Well, I usually listened to my mom.  I won't chase.  But I also won't fall apart. I will miss my friend. I will miss texting, our late night laughs, our giggles and catching up over coffee. Our meals that turn into 2 then 3 and 4 hours long.  But I will never disturb them again.

And what if another text is received? What if an attempt is made to contact me?  I will love them like I always have, I will remember fondly a friendship that was important to me.  But I will remember the feeling of being avoided and move on. I will move on to the relationships that encourage me, to the relationships that restore me.  The relationships that I plan on continuing to treasure.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

When Surgery Takes It All Out Of Me

I had surgery again this past Friday.  I say again since this is technically the fourth one I have had this year.  Three in January at the same time and now this surgery.  I struggle in many ways when it comes to medical stuff.  Pain meds and narcotics don't work very well for me.  Because of the lack of pain relief, I often turn to muscle relaxers. They enable me to fall asleep even though the pain is still very present.

But this time? This time is different.  The muscle relaxers are also not helping and I have developed an allergic reaction to the glue that covers my stitches that close my external incisions.  To be very honest, I am miserable.  I am tired and so incredibly ready to sit, lay, even lounge without being constantly aware of the pain that is present.

I am not a stranger to physical pain and extended recovery times.  I have found that in these down times, I have a lot of time to pray, to read the bible, strategize (future game plans for projects that need to be completed) and to write and edit. I also really do enjoy watching movies.  But I get bored so very quickly.

My kids are returning to school tomorrow.  Josh will leave for work, and Lily is responsible for getting Zach on the bus.  I will have the entire house to myself all day. I have about 10 minutes of energy in me at a time.  If I can shower and get dressed and sit down quickly I will be fine.  Then I will wait an hour and try again for some cereal and coffee.  I will take it slow and probably need a nap after just that.

Surgery has taken it all out of me. All of it. Every last ounce of energy that I had prior is non existent now.  And I am completely content with that. No, the kids laundry isn't folded. The kitchen counters looks like someone may have died on them.  And my kids are just going to have to fend for themselves when it comes to lunches and snacks this week.  But I am content with the fact that things are a bit messy and even more so out of control for a bit.

While my body heals,  my entire body relaxes.  I am not racing from one activity to another. I am not booking clients and working until the late hours of each night.  All of the things that seem so important can wait for a bit.  A week or two, maybe six.  I will sleep and enjoy coffee. I will reread my group bible study and enjoy my friend Michelle Choe's blog at https://deeperriches.com/blog/
I will do all of the things that I wish I had time to do, and not be expected to do anything else.  I will enjoy this time.  I will welcome this time.  I will remind myself that no one wins a trophy for being the most busy person.  It isn't a cool thing to be the busy person who always complains about being busy. Defeats the purpose.  (Lily would call them Attention Seeking Busy Creators.)

Tonight, I will sleep. That is it. Tomorrow I will edit.  That might be it.  Coffee will be consumed.  And yogurt with fruit and honey.
And I will be grateful for a doctor who has the knowledge of how to fix broken bodies.  I am thankful the Lord hears my prayers and meets me wherever I am.  And right now,  that is on the couch in the front living room enjoying the beautiful fall breeze blowing in through the open window.




Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Spend All My Life

Every single day.  That is how often I fall.  I fall in love with people. With friends. Even with people from afar.  Certain things people will do or say will catch my attention and I am drawn to them.

My daughter has a friend who believes herself to be beyond her 13 years.  She strives to wear the cool clothes that the older teen girls wear. She wants her hair always in a messy top bun.  A few months ago,  I observed that this sweet girl had an obsession with her hair.  She would take it out of its pony tail holder throw her head over to her knees and proceed to gather all of her hair just to place it back on top of her head again.  Usually I wouldn't give it another thought, but something strange was occurring each time she did this.  She always seemed to be doing it in very close proximity to other people.  She would somehow manage to flip all of her hair into the eyes of the person standing next to her. Or she would cover the shoulder of her friend. It struck me as odd. I don't want other people's hair touching me or being flipped onto my eyes.  I saw one of the girls roll her eyes as she looked at me, and then later, a boy turned and walked away.

I pulled her aside. "I like your top knot. When you put your hair up, try not to do it when other people are standing shoulder to shoulder with you. Do not rush. Take your time to gather your hair all in one hand and put the pony tail holder in with the other.  You can even excuse yourself to the bathroom and do it in the mirror to make sure you got all your hair.  If your pony tail holders don't seem strong enough to hold your hair, let me know and I will order you a set like I purchased for my Lily."

My daughter's friend heard me loud and clear. She could tell I was momming her, but also trying to help, not hinder.  "Thanks. I think I will take you up on your offer for pony tail holders.  My mom has such pretty hair and she doesn't have thin hair like I do.  She never has to put hers back up.  I feel like my hair falls out constantly.  I think if I use a tighter one in my hair, that might help. Thanks."

Right at that moment,  I loved this little girl.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  She was comparing her hair to her beautiful mom's hair and was struggling with her own.  There isn't a teen girl alive that I have ever known that hasn't struggled to some degree with self image.  She needed help, a few pointers, and she felt comfortable taking them from me.  Just another mom. But a mom that cares.

My son loves going to his special needs youth group on Tuesday nights at church.  It is the highlight of his week. When I go to pick him up, I can hardly contain my smile when he dives into arms in excitement and can't wait to tell me everything that he did at Capernaum.  Jake, his 20 something helper, came out to greet me also.  "Mrs. Gavin, your son is amazing.  He loves music and loves the other students.  I enjoy watching him interact with other volunteers and students.  He makes volunteering a fantastic experience for me." Behind Jake, three other volunteers were smiling and nodding in agreement.  Right then, my heart soared with love for each of those volunteers who so selflessly give of their time to serve my family and to love on my son.

My husband leads a men's bible study on Thursday mornings and oversees men's ministries at our campus church.  This past Sunday, we hosted an hour of prayer to uplift a soon to be deployed serviceman and his family in prayer.  We adore this sweet family and consider it an honor to do life with them.

As the men from the bible study were preparing to leave, one of the men pulled me aside and said, "Kelli, thank you for having us.  I want to tell you how much I value your husband and how much I look forward to spending time with him and the other men in the group.  Your husband is a wonderful encouragement to me."  Right there, my heart loved this man who took the time to tell me how thankful he is for my husband.

Sometimes, when I love someone, it is for something they have said, or even something they have done. Other times, I love someone for the words they chose not to say. And love is always present when someone loves my people, my family.

I will spend all my life loving people up close. I will love my children and husband until this world is no longer. Different people and in different ways. The love that strikes anywhere and at any time, in single moments, is something that I want to experience every day for the rest of my life.



Saturday, October 12, 2019

By Order of the Peaky Blinders


I have a vivid imagination.  When brainstorming, I don't just think about practical, every day solutions to problems, I think of oddball, quirky, not able to happen in the real world, and sometimes even downright illogical solutions.  I can blame it on on my writer's brain, even the fact that I love to read and love to watch documentaries. My brain tends hold an inordinate amount of insignificant information that really can never be used at a later date. As in ever. 

Life is often overwhelming. Sometimes, it is problems with one of my kids at school, or with friendships. Sometimes, it is figuring out a way to forgive someone who has hurt me knowing that they will never say they are sorry or change their way of relating to other people. And even other times, it is mending a broken heart over a situation that will never improve. Right now, I seem to be faced by many problems. All of the problems.  Assailed from every direction.  Yes, I know that this isn't actually true. But it feels like it.  

While trying to come up with the solution to world peace, (actually just trying to figure out how to increase my productivity when there doesn't seem to be enough hours in each day) I began to wonder if I just needed to hire a fixer. Yes, a fixer. Someone on the payroll who would swoop in at a moments notice and fix whatever happens to be the dilemma of the hour.  

Like Dr. House. When all of the other doctors have tried to diagnose and failed, Dr. House will swoop in and save the day and his new patient from certain death.  Or, Annalise Keating.  The impossible case where someone is facing a life sentence for a crime that they didn't commit, and Annalise arrives not a moment too soon. Not only through her remarkable investigation skills and expertise at cross examination, she is able to have her client cleared of all charges, a public apology is made, and the accused even receives a trillion dollar defamation and libel suit win. 

And then there is the Shelby Family. Thomas Shelby only needs to hear of an injustice that faces a family member or someone he has sworn to protect, and he immediately comes up with a plan of how to fix it and to make sure  that it will never happen again.  Now, the Shelby brothers may have some interesting ideas on problem solving.  Their solutions often involve action first, and analyze later.  While I do not condone violence or organized crime,  I love the idea of other people caring enough to solve my problem or issue sometimes even before I have had a chance to be concerned about it. 

We are not guaranteed a perfect happy life.  We are guaranteed anything but. Even in the book of John- In this world you will have many troubles... - That sounds like a for sure promise of trouble.  So knowing that troubles will at times abound, what does the second part of verse in John 16:33 say? - But take heart! I have overcome the world!" - Jesus has overcome the world. 

Daily challenges will seem to pile up.  They will overwhelm and continue to bring me to my knees. But I need to remember that this world is temporary.  This world is a mess.  I am not of this world, I just happen to be taking up a temporary residence. So yes, discouragement may set in, but this isn't a place I wish to remain or dwell. 

No,  I don't need a Dr. House or Ms. Keating.  I absolutely think anyone of The Clan Shelby would create more havoc.  It is Jesus. That is who I need. Every single day.  The comforter and lover of my soul. The one who gives me strength, who sees my tears, understands the turmoil and anticipates my prayers before I even speak. 

Jesus.  

That is who I need today and every day. 





Saturday, September 28, 2019

Ha! I Don't Get It.



I love a good play on words.  My favorite one currently is this:  Say- Rise up lights. Rise up lights.  This sounds like a person with an Australian accents saying razor blades.  Go ahead. Say it again.  And then again. I will wait.

The other day, a man a restaurant said, "No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationary."

Or the one my teacher told me as a child and I didn't understand until years later- A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

I don't often catch on right away when someone says something funny or uses words as if they alone can quite possibly be punchline.  I am not the brightest bulb on the tree. You can see my gears turning, me slowly catching up, and then arriving at a full understanding of what has been said.  I am horrible at dinner parties.  I will look directly my husband and say, "I don't get it." Or,  "What in the actual what are they talking about?"  He finds humor in this each and every time.  He says the second he sees the corners of my lips turn upwards, he knows that I then get the joke.

I wonder how much I have actually missed over the years? How many jokes I haven't understood and just glossed over or changed the subject? I have a feeling it is a lot.

If you struggle with this also, just know, that you are not alone.  Also always remember, that you can tune a bicycle, but you can not tuna fish.

Honor

Honor By: Kelli J Gavin  When my grandmother passed, I felt defeated and utterly broken. She was the last of my grandparents left...