I need to correct any misimpressions that may be forming about me. Folks have been so very positive about the posts on Caring Bridge I hold myself out as no model or source of inspiration for anyone.
Being married to me for 26 years had to be tough. I can be moody and impulsive, demanding and, I am told, intimidating. Sometimes the lawyer side of me kicks in at home with wife and sons, and that is not a good thing. Lynne handled our marriage with love, grace and, in some cases, longsuffering. On the other hand, cross-examining your kids when there are some issue can be fun (for me).
Lawyers will know what I mean by what I say next: beware the wife who loses her fear of lawyers. Lynne worked in my office off and on over the years, and dealt with a lot of lawyers. Many times they did not know they were talking to my wife when complaining, threatening, cajoling and doing the other stuff some lawyers do as a part of their daily routine. Over time she became unimpressed with many of them. I remember one occasion at home where she was dealing directly with a lawyer in negotiating a difficulty in our homeowner’s association, and she had the guy practically standing on his head in a corner. And she did it with finesse and grace.
Fortunately, God has been knocking the edges off of me, slowly but surely, for the last seven years. I like to think I am mellower now, slower to anger, and more thoughtful. I hope I can call that wisdom. But for God’s grace, I certainly would not have the perspective on the swirl of events I’ve written about over the last few weeks.
So I am feeling confessional, and I have to tell you what I did today. I have mentioned that Lynne and I liked to garden. We have a cottage-style garden, and have had a few disagreements about certain things: what perennials to plant, what color, that sort of minor stuff. But we had a big running disagreement for the last few years over the sedum. I can’t stand sedum, and Lynne had a lot of it planted in the flower beds. Sedum overruns the other plants, takes up too much space, its foliage isn’t pleasant to look at, and the flowering heads are unimpressive. Plus when it dies off in the Fall all you are left with is a bunch of really ugly brown stalks.
Every year I said, “time to dig it up and get rid of it,” and every year Lynne said “no.” Rule One (keep momma happy) always being in force in the Breen household, the sedum stayed put. (For those of you who do not know what Rule Two is, it too is simple: observe Rule One).
Yesterday was a beautiful day, and I decided to do some Spring clean up in the flower beds. I fed the roses, did some trimming and pruning, fretted over the Bermuda grass that has invaded the bee balm, that kind of stuff.
And I saw that I finally had my chance to get rid of the sedum. So I did. It is now in sedum heaven, if there is such a thing.
I hope this does not offend you, or that you think I am somehow disrespectful of Lynne’s memory by jumping on the chance to ditch a plant I never liked. As we say in the South, “I seen my opportunity, and I took it.”
The Russian sage isn’t far behind. That’s what God made Roundup for.