The Greatest Thing About My Father-in-Law…

…is the way he communicates.

A few months before I married Dwight, my father-in-law, Dwight Garland Sr. and I were sitting at his kitchen table. He was about to cut a bell pepper.

“Do you know how to cut one of these?” he asked.

Still new to this family and environment, I shook my head no.

“Well, let me show you.”

He carefully held the green pepper in his hand and showed me the top.

“See what you do is cut right around the top here. All the way around.”

He took the knife and cut a circle away from but around the stem. I looked on as if it were a major operation.

img_7542“Now, you pull this,” he said as he removed the stem from the bulbous part of the pepper. “See,” he turned the insides so I could see them. “All the seeds are right here.”

You would’ve thought he was David Blaine and I’d just seen him put a knife through his hand. I was amazed. To this day, that’s how I cut all peppers, and every time I do, I think about my father-in-law and this lesson.

It’s true that you’ll never forget how people made you feel. I’ll always remember that moment because he didn’t say, let me show you the right way to cut a pepper. He didn’t make me feel like some wayward child whose parents had neglected to teach her how to cut vegetables.

He simply asked me if I’d ever cut one, and then lovingly showed me how.

53 thoughts on “The Greatest Thing About My Father-in-Law…

  1. Great story. Not the right and wrong way to do something, but his way. He was grateful that you let him instruct you, and you were grateful for learning a better way. A friend taught me a trick with avocados years ago. I had always peeled them, then tried to hold onto the slippery little buggers while I hacked away at the flesh to remove the seed. He zipped the knife around the seed, cutting it half lengthwise, then pried the halves apart. He sunk the knife blade 1/4 inch into the seed and twisted it, and the seed came right out. Without cutting the skin, he made several horizontal and vertical cuts through the flesh, then scooped it out with a spoon. It fell into the bowl perfectly cubed. It was like a magic trick! I still do it that way, and every time I do, I’m thankful that he was willing to teach me and I was willing to learn. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly Joan! I absolutely loathe when people act as if how they’re doing something is the “right” way. There is no right/wrong way. There’s a way and if it’s more beneficial for you for some reason, then okay. As far as the avocado lesson, I think I saw that on one of those cooking shows that used to be so prevalent in the mid-90s. It does make life a lot easier lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s how I do it too! Sounds like a sweet wise man. And yes, positive or negative, the feelings/emotions are what we remember most.
    But girl, tell me about your tattoo! I am intrigued 🙂 Oh and I love the picture of you both. XxX

    Liked by 2 people

      1. How cool ! I have one, my wedding-ring 🙂 Will never forget the day it was created. Always wanted one, but the guy who made it, had to tell me to move my head a little bit. I was so curious to the process, he couldn’t see what he was doing LOL

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well, it is not all the way around, because apparently that is dangerous (blood-poisoning). Yes, you feel it, but no, I didn’t find it very painful. So maybe an idea for an upcoming anniversary? 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Somehow, your story reminded me of the relationship between my father (may he rest in peace) and mu husband (he should live and be healthy to 120). It was love at first sight! Each one of them called the other “the kindest person in the world,” and in reality, it is true of both. Thank you, Dr Kathy!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Dear Dr Kathy, between us girls, when my husband turns 120 (may he be healthy and well!), I will be 132, so who would want whom around is an interesting question.
        It’s a translated blessing, actually. When we mention someone in conjunction with a person who has passed on, we always add this phrase. I love your story – very poignant!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. The way you summarized that by saying he simply asked and loving showed you how, was beautiful. Kiss something we should all implement in our lives, teachings, interactions. I’ve known people just like your father-in-law but could never put it into words as beautifully as you have. I’m grateful you have this memory to smile about in such A simple moment.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks so much Mandy! I recently wrote about the “little things.” This is what I mean. A lot of times people think we need/owe one another grandiose overtures, when really, we just need small acts because those will be impactful and definitely remembered.

      Liked by 2 people

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