Larry died yesterday. He was my brother-in-law--my sister's husband. He'd had some significant health issues in the past. He just hadn't felt good all summer--couldn't put his finger (or the doctor's finger) on what was wrong. He was getting cleaned up for a doctor's appointment, stepped out of the shower and died. My sis was there and performed CPR until the ambulance got there, and since no one can die until the doctor says you have, they took him to the hospital in Aberdeen where he was pronounced. That's probably more information than you need, but somehow it feels good to put it into words.
Larry was not a man I might have sought out as a friend. Had my sister never moved to Ipswich to teach, I would never have known him. His interests were as varied and different as they could be from mine. Yet I thank god for that move, for I got to know and love a man that loved and took care of my sister. If something were broken, he could fix it. Granted, it may not have been in a typical, professional way, but when it was done, it worked. He was a collector of all sorts of interesting(?) things. He collected and cared for my two nephews and niece! He never lost the Oklahoman accent and never demonstrated he knew that can't was not pronounced caint, but he was a highly intelligent, quiet business man who saw to the needs of his customers and his friends. My spousal unit summed him up in one lovable description. Larry was "quirky". Now you have to understand a word to use it, and since she married into our family....
Sometimes, a degree in speech/theater and English serves a purpose:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
Larry was truly "everyman". I grieve my sister's loss. I grieve our family's loss. Yesterday, the bell tolled for us!