Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Good Advice

Both of the two best pieces of advice I've ever gotten came from my brother Joey. To wit:

The opinions of worthless people are worthless.


Marriage isn't fifty-fifty. It's one hundred-one hundred.

When my father and mother split up and Dad moved to Lake Charles for a while (before they got back together then split up again and got back together again and ... ), Joey was pretty much the man of the house. He took great care of us all. I remember that time as one of the few stretches where the house felt at peace, where I wasn't always walking on eggshells and waiting for the next explosion.

That didn't last, of course, but the simple and profound lessons my brother taught us did. Take care of your family. Shed the worthless opinions of those unworthy of judging you. Give it everything you've got.

It's the basic stuff that endures. I know it wasn't easy for him to take up the burden of responsibility at his age, but he did it and did it well.

So I want to say thank you to Joey, and to all those like him who carry the rest of us forward. You give it a hundred percent and inspire us to do the same. I hope we don't fail you.


Anonymous said...

His best piece of advice to me: When dealing with a person who has a superior, holier-than-thou, I-can't-believe-you-are-doing-that attitude--- when they ask you why you are doing...(fill in the blank), the only answer you can give them is "Because I'm a doofus." This will be the only time and only way to shut them up! If you are doing something in a far superior way they will still give you a roll of the eyes. If they have a better way (their way is always better) they will both belittle and pontificate. The length of time, volume, and tone of disgust will be in direct proportion to the number of people in attendance. Satire is oh so lost on the know-it-alls. Of course, Joey was right, I've used the trick and the look of bewilderment is awesome!
ps- Why did he tell me he was a doofus when I was merely going to tell him a better way to drive the car?

Anonymous said...

My favorite Uncle Joeyism came when I was looking at going to school in North Carolina (not LSU-gasp!) and he said, "Oh you didn't hear? North Carolina burned down." Gotta love it. I then brought it up another occasion that I wasn't going to LSU that I was going to go to NC and he said, "Go to LSU at North Carolina".

Anonymous said...

I was sent an angel when Joey came in to my life. My life is complete and blessed with him in it. Thanks for such wonderful words about your brother and my husband. He's th best!


Anonymous said...

My best Joey comment -- Dad was in the hospital having suffered his first heart attack. We were all in the waiting room and Joey picked up the pay phone. I said, "Who are you calling?" He said (with a straight face), "Ghostbusters."

When it was just Nicky and me, Joey came over almost every night -- kept me company, changed the oil on my car, played with Nick and was generally my rock and salvation. He continues to be a wonderful father, husband, brother and friend. The best advice he's given me -- of all the advice he's given -- "You think too much." Love you, Joey, even if you did throw away the "Aggie Uncle" bumper sticker I sent you... -- Denise!