Yesterday Sam and I went to a funeral. They are always hard on us, and this one underscored both the hope and the cruelty that comes in the march of time.
When it was time to go, Sam came out of his apartment clutching a tie he’d gotten from his brother, Michael. I didn’t consider it the best match for the shirt he was wearing, but it was acceptable. He needed my help putting it on. He’s always needed my help knotting his ties.
Before I even thought about it, I blurted, “I won’t be able to do this as well as Michael.”
Michael visited a month ago, when Sam rode both English and Western in an able-bodied horse show organized by North Central Texas College. When it was time to knot his tie, Michael helped him with a beautiful, neat knot that I knew he didn’t learn at home.
He was in the middle of his junior year in high school when Mark died. He went off to college at Texas Christian University knowing a lot of things about how to take care of himself. But he never learned to knot his ties other than the simple way I faked up trying to help my boys look good. He wasn’t going to get away with that at such a prestigious school.
Michael said he watched lots of YouTube videos to learn how to knot his ties.
I wish I knew why the little things always break my heart.