“No crying over spilled milk”: Lessons my brother taught me

by Judy Griffin on October 20, 2012

Joey called my kids "the wrecking crew."

“Guess who was the chief milk spiller in our house?”

Today marks 9 years since we lost my wonderful brother Joey. As I remember him today I am comforted and tickled by the many ways he touched my life.  His presence always added a fresh perspective and made us all feel special.

Ever since I can remember he was there for me. He was there to protect, guide, teach and share in life’s ups and downs. He always arrived with a smile, a great belly laugh, and a funny story. He put you at ease naturally and never imposed his views or expectations, judged, or made you feel inept; only supported.

There is one night that I still so clearly remember with a smile.  Joey taught me a lesson I’ll never forget. At the time it was another hectic night with my 4 babies. Mike was working late and I was on my own with Kayla, 7, Erin 5, Conor, 3, and Sean was a few months old. Like so many nights Joey popped in to see “The Wrecking Crew” –his nickname for my kids.  He was a lifesaver and always brought laughter and levity to brighten our day.

Well, as a weary Mom struggling to get through the night, here comes Joey to the rescue.  Admittedly, I was a bit cranky and short on patience so, as I was serving dinner I didn’t react well when my sweet Kayla spilled her milk.  All I saw was yet another mess to clean up.  I didn’t seem to notice how bad Kayla felt. But Joey did.

So, what did he say? Did he criticize me for overreacting?  No, but he did something so much better!  He asked Kayla-“Do you know who the chief Milk Spiller was in our house?’ Of course it was me!   We all broke out into laughter.  He turned it all around and got me to lighten up. That was his specialty.

Whenever I am feeling impatient I recall that beautiful lesson Joey taught me that night. Perhaps the next time you are out of patience this little story can help you.

Joey was one amazing brother, son, and uncle.  It’s been a long 9 years without him  but cherished memories like this really  sweeten the sadness.

So what tools do you have in your toolbox to help with Melt-down Mama Moments?  Who has come to your rescue?

I would love to hear from you!

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