Monday, February 11, 2013

ET the Extra Reverential

I was always a fan of Ernest Tubb from the first time I heard him sing.  The late, great country star known as the Texas Troubadour was no Caruso, not even a Barry Manilow when it came to singing perfectly on key.  But ET, as he liked to be called, didn't become a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame for singing grand opera, but for singing at the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 until his death in 1984...and he sang from the heart.

But I'm not here today to write of my admiration for the man whom others called "The Daddy of 'Em All."  What's on my mind is that in 1967 I went to the E.J. Korvette store and bought a copy of the double record album "The Ernest Tubb Story."  I listened to those records over and over and looked at the pictures inside.  One of the pictures showed Ernest at his desk in his home office, sitting beneath a sign on the wall that read "Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal."  Then as now, no Bible scholar, I, but I was to learn that the verse comes from the book of Corinthians. 

It has always stayed with me, all these years.  Those words are inspirational to me, and helpful in sad times.  And these are sad times for our neighbors, and so for us, as close friends as we are with Sam and Nancy. 

Nancy's younger sister Jen passed away on Friday after battling cancer for several years.  She was only 43, married, with two teenaged children.

I can understand death at a certain age.  Not to specify a number of years or anything, but take my Dad's case.  He had a long and happy life, survived World War II, came back to work long and hard for the Gas and Electric Company, retired, and did all the things that he wanted to do before passing at 84.  It's hard to say he was cheated out of his time at bat, and I can only hope to live as long as he did.

But 43? With so much ahead of her and her family?  That was a tough one.  One could hardly get into the room at the funeral home for all the mourners.  Friends, relatives, classmates and soccer teammates of the kids and even some of their teachers turned out to buck up the widower and the kids.  Still, the sadness hung in the room as a pall.  The family is very close and they have hundreds of friends, so we can count of them for solace.

I don't know why it takes so many reminders to make us realize that we are guaranteed no tomorrows, and we need to enjoy every day that we are given.  There will be fun, there will be toil and trouble, and there will be sorrow. 

Ernest's little sign comes back to me on days like this. I don't mean to preach on you; you can believe as you will, but these words are comforting on days like this.

Please, go tell someone you love them! You'll never have a better chance than today.

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