My mom’s husband Doug died last week. The great thing about Doug was how great he thought we were. I’m not sure my family always thinks of themselves as great. Most days I’m happy with normal. And when you see yourself through someone else’s eyes, the picture isn’t always pretty. But our family, all of us, seen through Doug’s eyes, was always great.
A couple of years ago my sister and I took my mom and Doug out for a Mother’s Day brunch. Some uncomfortable questions came up, and the answers weren’t all that satisfying. There was an awkward silence. And then Doug said, “Your mom and dad sure raised a great family.”
There you have it. When Doug showed us to ourselves, we were always great. His view of me made me want to try a little harder at being great. And when normal seems like it’s got to be good enough, or worse yet when normal seems completely out of reach, I’m going to remember how great Doug thought we were.