Monday, January 5, 2009

The Perfect Gesture

Men don't generally help each other get ready for dress-up events the way that women do. Women help each other with hair, makeup, and accessories. The only acceptable help that men can give one another is to help tie the necktie. Even then, it is generally a familial gesture between a father and a son.

But last November it was different. Last November, my brother-in-law, John, passed away. My husband, shedding tears, took the tie that John would wear into eternity, put it around his own neck and tied it loosely. Then he slipped it off and put it on the shirt that John would wear so that John's widow and daughters could see how it looked with his suit.

Watching, my heart and lungs seemed to freeze in place. It was the most heart-wrenching scene of our marriage but also the most tender, the most memorable. It was the perfect gesture, the last help that Herb could give his little brother in this world. And I am grateful, so grateful that he was given the opportunity to do it

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