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Real men...

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The soft grey is woven throughout now, blending evenly within the brownish black…  Before everything changed, when his hair grew long, it appeared as though someone brushed a broad swath of whitish paint across the side of his head.  He would make a joke of it, saying how his home improvement projects could occasionally get out of control... 

The crinkly laugh lines have diminished, overtaken by the deep circles under his eyes.  He still laughs easily, but it is a hollow echo of his old humor; sarcasm has taken hold, and there is a cutting edge to his wit.  There is nothing funny about the turn our lives have taken…

John puts on a strong front around others; he aspires to be a pillar of strength, emulating his own father.  To him, this is as much a way of providing properly for our family as is earning a paycheck.  And yet from time to time, tears tumble from his blue eyes like floodwaters rushing down a spillway. The waterworks erupt despite his steadfast determination to do otherwise; to him, crying is a sign of weakness…  In his opinion, grown men, real men, shouldn’t cry…  On this point, I beg to differ…  What kind of a man wouldn’t weep after losing his child?  If the depth of our pain is in equal measure to our love, surely it has to be expressed in some manner as well.  If the greatest man who ever walked this earth wasn’t afraid to cry, why should any other be?

It is a relief to see John’s great wall of anger collapse, however briefly…  I thought the arrival of spring would help his disposition, but if anything, it has gotten worse.  After ‘springing forward’, John and Brian made the most of the extra daylight, either at the golf course or at work in our yard…  For the first time, he is facing this season alone.  Neither Beth nor Grace aspire to play golf or mow the grass; with my allergies and lack of athletic ability, I’m no better.  It’s not the same, it never will be, and we all know it…

Thank goodness for the unwavering support of his golf buddies; without any prompting at all, they’ve realized and stepped up their effort to help bridge this void…  If they only knew how much their friendship means to him, to us…  Of course, talking about such things is something else real men don’t do…

Wishing you sunshine and hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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