Thursday, March 31, 2016

“Thurber was asked by a correspondent: "Why did you have a comma in the sentence, 'After dinner, the men went into the living-room'?" And his answer was probably one of the loveliest things ever said about punctuation. "This particular comma," Thurber explained, "was Ross's way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up.” ― Lynne Truss, Author of: "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation"

Hello out there, it's the last day of March, the 31st, in this fast moving year of 2016. My grammar utility program has some splaining to do. In my blog the other day I had a wrong word that made it through. The famous grammar utility does have a built in spelling checker but he allowed the word visior to stand up. I had meant it to be the word, visitor. The word visior is ancient but legitimate. It was from Shakespeare and it has to do with a piece on a helmet with slits in it. You got it. It later became the word visor! Okay. But, at the same time, he thought me using the word felled was inappropriate. Really? I had said the boy felled three ducks. He didn't like that usage. But, if you look it up, it clearly states that it has to do with knocking, striking, shooting, cutting down and causing to fall. At any rate, my other grammar source, she sent me a note and said that I might want to check the spelling of my intended 'visitors' word. I appreciate her letting me know that and I will be consulting with Mr. Grammar expert to let him know that he doesn't know everything. I will also need to remind him one more time that software removal is an option. He will need to step up his game if he is going to hang out with me. What's that? He may be totally confused based on how I write? You would have to bring that up. Okay. I'll let him stay for a while longer and see how things go. He did see what you said. I hope you are satisfied. He has now decided to flag the word visior. I just wish he would make up his mind.

This may be one of the strangest obituaries I've ever read. I removed all the family name references. He died at age 74. Here's some from the published obituary: "Dad was born in Flint, MI on November 25, 1939, and deceased on June 18, 2014. The family has suffered significant losses and devastating embarrassments. To reserve what little dignity our family was allowed to have, we decided not to have a funeral or a memorial service. For all who wish to send condolences, please address them to the family. For many years our dad has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); we don't know whether it was the result of witnessing his foster mom decease from a diabetic stroke at age 4 and laying with her for 8 hours until his foster dad returned home from work and told him that she had passed and would never wake up again. Or from being in the Army when the military was extremely segregated or a combination of both. Dad was not perfect, and he knew that but he tried his best to be perfect as he could; when he fell short, he spent a great deal of his time pointing out the unfair imperfections of others at anytime and anywhere. This personality flaw rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and turned a lot of former friends and family alike into enemies and now his children have inherited his enemies. Dad usually meant well but did not know how to convey the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. It takes a very resilient person to survive our dad's environment. Speaking from experience, as a son, I took his criticism as a challenge and did my best to prove it wrong. For those who know our dad, know that he was truthful in what he said but it was painful. Those of us who were resilient, appreciated dad's critiquing of our flaws and his truthfulness after we learned not to take it personal. It takes a great deal of time to recover from our dad's arsenal of insults and many never did recover. We as his children don't have a clue as to who or how many people our dad has offended; all that we know is that we have paid a steep price for it. As we ask God to forgive us for our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us; we personally want to apologize to the greater Flint community for our father's inconsiderate insults and any that we may have committed. "We send our greatest sympathy." The new generation in our family "understands that the best offense is to never offend at all." Thanks to all of my dad's friends and family who showed support in our times of need. Please pray for us in our time of healing."

There's a lot that could be said about the summation of this man's life. One thing that jumped out at me is how that our actions do influence, not only ourselves but others. While it appears the overall impact of this man's life was largely negative, I think it refreshing how the children decided to try and make amends and perhaps make a new start. No doubt some of his issues were due to his medical condition, however, it surely would not excuse his lifetime of inflicting pain on others. I do know that I would love to change some things from my past. Some things that were said in haste or in anger. Actions that were taken. While we know we can never go back and change history, we can change our present, and we can re-write our life story, with the help of Almighty God through the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives in us through the presence of God the Holy Spirit. That's how a hopeless situation can be turned into one reflecting hopefulness. That should be encouraging to us all because most of us have brokenness as a part of our story. That is why Jesus came. And, I, for one, am so glad He did! Amen. ....More later..

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