Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Ties That Bind

"Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.”
- Jack Benny

August 10th is a special day in our family. It's the day we celebrate two great men, a day of love and laughter.

If you can't already tell, it's one of my favorite days.

My husband loved his brother-in-law Joe like a brother, and for good reason. Joe's a family anchor. He holds everyone together to celebrate joy as well as to weather the difficult times. He never flinches, no matter how crazy life gets. His faith in his family endures, growing stronger with each passing year. Joe is a good, kind, caring, respectful and compassionate man.

That's not to say this rock solid man is too serious. Quite the opposite, in fact. Never one to let the opportunity to crack a joke or bring a giggle pass, Joe's sense of humor keeps the family smiling. He is quick to point out there's sunshine after rain, folly in even the ordinary things and always a reason to see the bright side. Our "showers and s**t" standing joke makes me smile, even when Joe's nowhere around. I see a cloud or get hit by a raindrop, and instantly I hear Joe's voice inside my head, commenting on the showers and...well, you my point.

I told you we celebrate two men today, didn't I? Well, apple trees make apples, and in this case that's a good thing.

My husband's favorite nephew, John, was born on his father's birthday. An amazing birthday gift, don't you think? Way to go, Josie!

John is like his father in so many regards. Smart, thoughtful, kind and ready to do anything for those he holds dear, he is a strong family man. He is selfless, always more concerned with the needs of those he loves than his own. John's core beliefs are unshakable, which is one of my favorite things about his character. He has faith, loves his family and, like his father, never flinches--not even when life gets bumpy.

I'm blessed to have several photos of my darling husband laughing into a telephone. I'll give you one guess who's on the other end. That's right. John and Vito laughed so many times, over so many things, and the sound of that beautiful laughter rings in my ears and warms my heart. It is a gift I'll treasure forever.

While Joe's jokes often focus on the obvious, which is good because there are so many tidbits in daily living that really are ridiculous, John's humor is different. He sees beyond and beneath what the rest of us see. He sees the funny beyond the facade. And it's not like he contemplates long and hard, digging deep to find humor. Oh, no. John's insight is instant, the jokes he cracks like bursts of mental lightning.

I've got to admit it. There have been too many times to count when John's made me cry--from laughing so hard. He's also made me choke on my drink--because he said something that made me laugh mid-swallow. And John, like his dad, has brought joy that will last long after the laughter fades.

So, a special day in our family. We're blessed to be able to celebrate the birthdays of two amazing men. Life doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Happy birthday, Joe! Happy birthday, John! I love you!


Anonymous said...

An awesome tribute.

Happy Birthday John and Joe!!!

Sue W.

Jess said...

Happy Birthday!!

Mary said...

I love birthdays! Especially my own, LOL!!

Happy birthday Joe! Happy birthday John!

sharon said...

Happy birthday Joe and John!

I know why Sarita loves you two. You are great men.

Marianne Arkins said...

Fantastic post and wonderful tribute. Sounds like you are blessed.

Anonymous said...

Your post touches my heart. It, like the laughter you describe, will linger with me for a long time. Thank you.

Happy birthday!


Dru said...

what a beautiful tribute.

Happy Birthday John and Joel!