Remembering a big man in a small town
The bad thing about living in a small town is that everyone knows everything about you.
The good thing about living in a small town is that everyone knows everything about you.
When it comes to celebrating graduations, births and weddings, this is a good thing.
When it comes to remembering a member of the small town community, this is a great thing.
Sadly, my brother-in-law, who I loved dearly, passed away after a ten month battle with cancer. And I have to say that the memorial in his honor was like nothing I have ever experienced in my entire life. Every person in the town where he lived came to pay their respects and share a memory.
He was an opinionated, stubborn man. But he also gave generously to anyone who asked (and even to some that didn't) with his advice, time and even money.
As I stood at the bar (yes, the drinks were flowing), I felt as if I had landed in a modern day Our Town.
In one corner stood a carpenter, missing half his teeth. In another, a tall, attractive blonde woman in a tight black dress. Over there, a doctor in a silk shirt and dress pants. By the door, a young man in military dress. Balancing a plate of cheese and fruit, stood a white haired woman in a bright green golf shirt.
The rich. The poor. The PhDs. The high school dropouts.
At a time like this, there is no difference between people.
They have crammed my sister's refrigerator with "mystery" casseroles. Stocked her bar with enough bottles of vodka to last well into the next year. Offered to shovel snow, build fires, fix toilets.
The people of this small town, tucked into a beautiful corner in the mountains, have stepped in to fill the huge space left by my brother-in-law's passing.
Yes, there are no secrets in a small town.
And it is no secret that he was a great man who touched hundreds of people from all walks of life.