My dad had a number of proverbs that he often quoted to me as an impressionable young man. Some of which were a bit racy and would incur a chiding from mom. “Jack, don’t use that language with him.” She especially didn’t like it when he explained to me, “Son, all that glitters is not gold. All that titters is not tit.” But it was his way of teaching me in a memorable way that everything is not as it appears, so don’t let yourself get distracted.
He taught me much in the way of practical skills around the house and farm. At 10 years old I knew how get under the hood of an F100 to pull and replace spark plugs on a 352ci Ford engine and how to pull the flywheel off a Briggs & Stratton mower motor. In these many tasks, there was usually a procedure that needed to be followed. He drilled into me that as I took something apart, I should lay the parts out in sequence on a towel so I can put it back together in reverse order and not forget a crucial step. I can still hear him say:
Only the truest of Oklahomans would remotely understand this geographical reference. If you don’t get the implied meaning in this, I won’t take the time to explain it. You might need to pay attention.
Like my engine repair skills, Grief requires a protocol. I will have to go through Grief to get anywhere on the map. All roads will eventually lead through Grief. But it’s not a town to move to or set up shop in. There’s a better town out there.
Joy is the community where I want to build my house, where the constant year round temperature is Peace and its skies are filled with Hope.
“Remember son, you gotta go through Grief to get to Joy.”