It is rare in your life, at least mine, when you get to see such a powerful word in life form. I had just such an experience last night. I have members of my Memphis family, I have often mentioned in this blog, and this story is about the patriarch of that family, Tony. Tone the Bone as he is known to his friends. This is an 81-year-old man. He can work a crew of men in there 30’s to death. He can build or fix anything that concerns construction. Come flying in the door at 6 PM shower, shave and get a glass of Chardonnay and then dance until after midnight. Up at 6 AM the next morning and do it all over again the next day.
Last night we were over at the house, he lives with his daughter and son in law whom are some of my closest friend in Memphis. As you know my Mother in Law lives with us and she is 92. She has lived quite a life, but that is another post. She was the driving force in a family that founded the largest church in Griffin Georgia. She is an astounding woman of faith. Tony is a devote Baptist, yes and he dances how cool is that!!!!
Last night as the guys were watching football and the girls were doing whatever girls do Tony grabbed Bobbie by the hand and said come on with me. He proceeded to the living room and with the help of another dear friend who played the piano started singing the old standard hymns from church. As I sat there watching this I started to realize just why this entire family is so special. He sat there singing and asking Bobbie, “ What do we sing next?” They sang every old standard I grew up listening to and a bunch I had never heard but that they knew every verse. They sang for almost an hour. It was the most fun I have seen Bobbie have since she has lived with us.
How does this relate to the word of the post? Quite easily, this family is made up of the most special people I have ever met. Each with a big dose of Tony in them; The Mother and Father are the most loving and thoughtful people you could ever ask for in your lives, more than likely coming from Tony. The children, there are four, are each special and different. Each a special personality, but at the core they are all like Tony. His influence on them is so very clear as I look at it now. They all hug and kiss not only their family, but also every one who they call their family members. They are always courteous and thoughtful. An example is anytime they come into the house they make the rounds of all the people there either introducing themselves to the new folks, and hugging and kissing the family. Since Bobbie has come to live with us they have taken her by the hand and made her theirs. This group of children, all older than 22 years of age, still has a huge place in their hearts for family and home. A rarity in this day and time, in my opinion.
As I sat there last night listening to him and Bobbie singing this hit me like a ton of bricks. This entire band of very special people all has the character of Tony. They have lived together for well over 30 years. Tony and his wife lived with the family since the daughter got married. The mother, Tony’s wife, battled cancer and passed away while living in this family home. Think could you live with you Father or Mother for over 35 years? I loved my Mother and Father endlessly but not to sure I could answer the question. I know I live with my Mother in Law today and she is proving to be a joy so maybe I could have done it!
What will be your Legacy? Will you entire family be a better group for the life you have lived? I can’t say mine will. My son seems to be getting better, but the battles are still numerous and sometimes rough. Will my good traits, if I have any, be passed along? Are the blessing in my life being shared like Tony shares his, so open and freely giving of himself and his talents. Maybe that is a good thing to try to do in this new decade. Be more aware of trying to pass along what little bit of good I might be able to share with my family and friends. It surely couldn’t hurt.
Well that is my New Year resolution to be more like Tone the Bone!!!! I promise you there are worst people you could emulate!!
Well I think I will go watch the Cotton Bowl and see if I can’t catch a glimpse of one of this special children I have just written about. She is on the dance Team for Ole Miss.
Might even take a glass of wine in there and enjoy the fire. Once again proving how blessed I am to have known Tone the Bone and his wonderful family!!