necktie

…and that’s how family traditions are started

Over the weekend, we made a quick trip up to Chicago to attend the lovely memorial service for my sister’s husband. My brother-in-law was a refined and accomplished businessman – and something of a clothes horse. The eulogies invariably referred to his reputation for always being perfectly groomed and appointed, whether it be for a business meeting or a round of golf.

After the service, I commented to my nephew (his stepson) on the very nice tie he was wearing – he told me that all the men of the immediate family were wearing ties my sister had brought them from her husband’s closet.

I could stop there, and it would be a sweet story. But this brought back memories from ten years ago, at my own father’s memorial service. My dad wasn’t a clothes horse – in fact, he grumbled whenever he had to buy a new suit. But he was partial to bolo ties with silver-and-turquoise insets. To tell the truth, I didn’t realize how many of these he had until his memorial service – when his sons and grandsons showed up wearing the bolo ties that my mother had distributed to them.

This simple gesture, now repeated, is a way of quietly honoring our deceased. It fits perfectly with the way our family quietly grieves and mourns its losses. And so, it has become a tradition.

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