Cut Through the Crap and Spread a Little Brightness, Like My Late Uncle John

Cut Through the Crap and Spread a Little Brightness, Like My Late Uncle John

Rhyan here, looking to bend your ear for a sec. I’m going to be honest, I don’t like throwing around personal stuff. I like to put all of my feelings in a ball in the pit of my stomach and put food on top of them.

But I think – once again, if I’m being honest – this is a good opportunity for me to A) vent about some personal garbage and, B) all of us to appreciate each other and what we have for just a little bit. Just for a second.

To be brief, I’m going to be off the grid for a few days… I know it’s been a lot lately. I’m not some lazy ass who just stops showing up for work, there’s been some family stuff going on. My cousin, who was a Naval Reservist and Corrections Officer, died in June at the age of 51. My uncle, 30 years my cousin’s senior, died almost exactly three months later. I’ve been doing more driving than Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise in Cannonball Run.

Here’s the recap: since I’ve worked for SFL I’ve had multiple family members pass. Including most recently my uncle, who was a Vietnam vet, my cousin, who got called up after 9/11, and my dad, who served in the Air Force. I’m not sure my dad was any worse for the wear in particular, but hey – he certainly loved being in Okinawa.

My uncle dying recenly marks the end of the proverbial old guard, as most of that side of my family is now gone. But I want to point out the brightness that he brought. Look at that smile and those eyes, so positive. He had the same expression years later at his daughter’s wedding. I’m not putting that particular photo up because I don’t dabble in wedding photos, just not my thing. But my Uncle John’s laugh was sincere and hearty and contageous, despite everything.

Thing is, when my Uncle John was a kid, he swallowed part of a lamp, the part that holds the shade on. I don’t know why he did it… did someone indicate that lamp was important, and he wished he was just as important? Did he ingest a lamp screw because he thought if it was important maybe he’d be important, too? I’m not a child psychologist, so you’ll have to ask someone with the DSM-V at the ready.

Apparently this lamp was so significant that the family decided to cut through his excrement with a razor blade after every bowell movement to retrieve the screw top that held the shade on. Which they did. And I’m sure it felt very pointy during the process coming out.

So, my point is… with all of the divisiveness going on… can we cut through the crap once in a while… to screw the top back on to that lamp shade, and spread a little brightness? After all, he didn’t go – none of them did – and fight… so we could sit here and obnoxiously argue about insignificant, mundane garbage decades later.

Civility, unlike that lamp, is not an antique. It is an omnipotent concept, and we need to all work to preserve it.

~MMR w/R