Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Unknown Teachers

Sometimes, you don't realize you have run into a teacher until they are gone from your life.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended Mr. Tabling's funeral. His eldest son was my roommate during my stay in Baltimore. During that time, the Tablings adopted me as one of their own.

I was always impressed by Mr. Tabling's boundless optimism, his sense of adventure, his willingness to explore, and his ingenuity. No matter what happened - losing his retirement, his wife's ill health and death - he managed to sail through (at least in public) unruffled.

No money to travel? He set up an arrangement with Hunt Valley Motors to serve as a "tour guide." Free travel, minimum work.

When his wife died, he made it a point to spend more time with his sons and his grandchildren. For a time, he moved down to Florida to stay with his youngest son. The change in scenery did him good. The last time I saw him (over a year ago), he was excitedly sharing his stylish new look (a tan, Hawaiian shirts and spiffy new glasses) and stories about dancing with lady-friends. He still missed his wife, but he made it a point to continue living.

I think those are the lessons I took from him - keep exploring, keep trying new things, and a little optimism doesn't hurt either.

One of the last of the WWII vets - he was buried in Parkville Cemetery on one of the most beautiful August days in memory with military honors.

Rest in peace Mr. Tabling, and thank you.

2 comments:

LearningAnorak said...

A touching tribute, Wendy. You can write my obit when the time comes ;o)

Wendy said...

Karyn - hopefully that won't be anytime soon.