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“I had a nice interaction with Bella the other day.” my good friend Eric told me.  He had been changing the church sign and some of the kids were outside with him.  He went on to tell me that even though she told everyone that she got this stick down out of a tree that it, in fact was he, who had gotten it down.  I replied, “Who ended up with the stick Eric?  It seems that she got YOU to get it down didn’t she?”  He replied in a lower voice, “She got it down…she got me to get it down.”  Yep, my little girl always in control, or trying to control.

That, for the most part is how Mitlo’s roll.  I come from a long line of folks who like to be in charge, like to be leaders, like to be aware and abreast of all that is in their world.  My first recollection of this was my grandfather who was the oldest of 7 kids and the only one in management.  He was the consummate boss.  He would fire anybody, and everybody.  He fired my grandmother 7x/day at least.  The first thing he’d do when he saw me was to fire me (most often for not wearing socks and shoes but also for sitting too close to the tv).  We have been in litigation for years with Donald Trump for stealing Big Joe Mitlo’s tagline.  Yep, he was in control.

I’m no different.  Oh, I’d like to think that I rely upon the Holy Spirit for quite a bit and will even let things fail if it’s teaching someone how valuable they are or that they need to contribute to make things successful but even then I’M controlling the situation.  Yes, I was blessed with a 4 year hiatus in this regard as I stared down the barrel of cancers largest guns.  No control there, not an ounce.  Yet, around the periphery I got to control enough that I think it helped me get by.

Perhaps you’ve read enough of my stuff to know that it’s a reflection of a high need for security.  Well played good student.  It probably is.  Whatever the case it’s also why I have been struggling with something quite a bit recently.

I have noticed a change in my emotional state in recent months and I can’t put my finger on it.  I don’t know if it’s good or bad, healthy or not.  It may or may not directly…directly even have to do with Trey.  The issue is, not that I’m emotional (and I will describe how that is manifesting itself in a moment), it’s that I can’t figure out why certain things cause me to be emotional.  It’s that lack of it making sense that has me spooked.  Nope, I don’t like not being to control something.

You see, I have noticed myself tearing up and even crying (tears, not audible) at the most random of things.  I can narrow it down to good things, positive things, things that are admirable, but not really tear worthy.  For example(s) the final choral number of our (our meaning my community, I have no part in this great production) HS musical.  I sat there with tears coming down my face.  Was I sad that Trey would never get to be a part of that?  Not at all I assure you.  It was simply an appreciation for the kids letting it all out, performing their very best in a given moment.  When Rachel and I were in Texas she got to go to “Magnolia” a shop owned by the hosts of the tv show “Fixer Upper.”  As I watched Rachel in all of her glory go through the baskets and pick out something to buy as a keepsake I teared up.  What the?  No.  It’s not that expensive that I was left weeping.  I was happy for her…but THAT happy?  Lastly and perhaps most randomly, I was at a bar where a band was playing and actually making my time there quite miserable.  I was trying to talk to a friend and it was very very loud (yes, I’m 90 years old now).  They had a “fiddle” player (55 years old, normal if not super fatherish looking guy) and were playing a familiar 70’s southern rock song.  Toward the end of the song he went on a bit with a solo.  It was incredible.  As he finished I noticed the tears coming down my face.  This man was gifted.  He had exercised that gift in a great way…in a north hills bar on a random Saturday night.  There I was wiping and fighting back tears.

Before you think that you’ve got it all figured out that and that I’m repressing Trey tears I say, “Nay nay.”  Those are there too.  As Rachel and I walked into the airport I saw the moving sidewalks and immediately found my self choked up remembering doing lap after lap with Trey on our “Make A Wish” trip (to Orlando, not just the airport.  That would have been a waste of a wish.).  I still have “sledgehammer” moments when something out of the blue reminds me of an emotional moment with him and the tears flow.  I still look at old pictures (well, there will be no new ones) of him and read blog posts about him and tear up thinking about those moments.  No, I’m not closed to those.

I guess that’s why it leaves me a bit puzzled.  A fiddle player, a high school chorus, and a trinket shop in Waco Texas.  Yep, that’s what normally causes folks to cry right?  I can justify the tears for all three but it doesn’t change the fact that I probably wouldn’t have teared up for those things for the better part of my life.

So, have I evolved and I can now appreciate things better?  Perhaps.  Even though I still process the hurts of Trey’s passing do I still have some extra emotion lying around, dormant inside looking for a way to leak out?  Very possible.  Manopause?  I don’t think that’s really a thing.  I dunno.

So, I don’t know why.  I’m not in control of it.  I can’t figure it out.  Until I start tearing up at the beauty of garbage or don’t tear up at all I’m not going to panic.  It’s just a weird phenomena that I thought I’d share with you all.  Thanks for being there/here, both literally at times and prayerfully in others, with and for us.


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