Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Small Stories From The Big House

It's called "The Big House" for a reason:

The Big House is occupied by Roy J. and Helen and at various times of year by the many members of their extended family. The family history is on display everywhere inside, as are examples of the family's deep roots and love - for each other and for Christ.

However I must add that Roy J. is something of a character. There is far more to his story than I could ever attempt to tell here, but in brief he's a World War II veteran, a former P.O.W., a believer and a man who doesn't mince words. He has been through a lot, but every time I've seen him he's been smiling, enjoying life with a certain mischievous look in his eyes that I suspect conceals an inner toughness that hasn't always been so well hidden.

This is Roy J. today:

I spent some of my time at the Big House examining some of the hundreds of photographs of family and friends that line virtually every wall. This is one of many that caught my eye:

I asked Roy J. about the photo and he told me that was him (the boy whose cowboy hat framed his rascally smile) and his younger brother. As you might imagine, the picture was taken many years ago in West Texas. Then Roy added that his younger brother was also in the house.

It is a BIG house but I was fairly certain I had met everyone who was with us during our visit until Roy added with a subtle nod, "in the bucket over there..."

Roy J. cuts to the chase.

Roy's brother died a couple of years ago and he is indeed in the house, actually in the room behind the wall where that picture hangs. His ashes are in an urn sitting atop a fine family piano where Helen relishes every opportunity to play hymns.

I must admit I was a little startled by Roy J.'s cavalier response, but then I turned my attention away from the urn and back to his face and saw that ever present smile...and I understood.

Life is what you make it...Roy J. and Helen have decided to fill their lives with family, faith, music, and an amazing array of memories - in The Big House - but they've also arranged their home and their lives in a manner that can always accomodate a little fun.

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. - Psalm 19:8