Two days. Two deaths.
That was the week of 4-6-15.On Monday, I lost my sweet
91-plus year old grandmother. A great soul she was, always a lady. Then Tuesday rolls around, and our perfect little 15-plus year old Schnauzer was laid to rest. God, we loved that little girl.
If you have followed along with my writing and thoughts, then you know a central and reoccurring theme is “Tribal Knowledge”. Capturing what our great leaders, mentors, coaches and those that have gone before us know and sharing that with those that are following.
How does Tribal Knowledge play into the two deaths that I opened this with? One doesn’t, it just punches me in the gut. That would be Bunni, the Schnauzer. Grandma on the other hand is a different deal.
Thyra Alexander was my mother’s mother. Born in, as she would say, nineteen and twenty three, one of nine kids in the family. That alone would allow for a lot of knowledge, but I thought about something much deeper over the last week. My life is all about technology, internet, data centers and #LifeLongLearning, what was it about this fine woman that had my mind churning so hard. She certainly was not on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, at least as far as I knew, yet she had so much to offer.
My mother’s brother, Dale Alexander, has a wife of 42 years named Cindy. Cindy has always been a dear person and has been, from my view-point the “glue” to a lot of sticky situations. Dale asked Cindy to deliver the eulogy for his mother, Thyra, to all of the friends, family and on-lookers who showed up in the small chapel in extreme western Georgia last weekend to celebrate the life of Grandma.
Cindy stepped up to the podium, she was following Robert Brown who was conducting the service. Most of us are nervous when we step in front of a crowd, let alone having to deliver a 15 minute eulogy, and Cindy was no different. She took two deep breaths, brought her hands together twice in kind of a silent clap, in a “OK, here we go” way. Deliver is the key word and Cindy did a great job. She spoke of the good times, the trying times and most of all, the remarkable part of Thyra that most people who knew her saw.
To me, this is the good part.
The honesty, the sharing, the caring, the “other people first” mentality that she carried all 50 years I knew her. The “make other people shine and I’ll take the back-ground position” that she was famous for. The story of preacher Robert Brown's first breakfast visit to my grandparents’ home, where, she, not knowing what Robert liked to eat, cooked a rather large sampling of many dishes, so as not to disappoint him. The churning of fresh butter with her elder sister, Christine. This was in the late 1980’s! She wanted to provide fresh butter for Robert, he was after all the new preacher who deserved to be taken care of. In a funny side note, Christine said, “Thyra, you know we can just go buy some butter right?” Thyra replied, ”Oh, Christine, just keeping churning.”
What does this have to do with us? Now? Business? Data? Internet? Learning and serving well?
Just about everything in my mind. We get SO wrapped up in the latest and greatest. Biggest and fastest. Larger screen and HDMI, etc… But, this is ground-zero, this is what makes us all different, our exposures to grace, to servant mentalities and just in general, people taking care of people.
I take this away from my week: Sure, we can do all the cool business stuff like travel, meet, greet, take orders, deliver proposals and respond to RFI’s, but if you can take some of the deep-down honest, trust and appreciation and apply it to what you are doing or going through, you too will have your very own Cindy singing your praises in the end. Not that you want the notoriety or “Hey, look at me” feeling, but the ”Wow, she really took care of those in her Tribe” feeling.
Stay committed to excellence, devote yourself to better, polish your “Inner Thyra” and watch how the world will receive you.