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Gig Line: A few words that can change the world

“I love you”. . . when a spouse says it to their husband or wife, it’s happy words that re-establish over and over again steadfast endearment, affection, loyalty and it rejuvenates that special bond between two people. Three little words you never tire of, regardless of the longevity of your relationship – just engaged, newlyweds or 50+ years together hanging in there through thick and thin, hard times and good times when as a couple you saw everything through together. Bills, ailments, illness, worries and life’s challenges, knowing as a team ordained by God, you could take on the world through sickness and health, life and death. That sweet expression of “I love you” lasts forever and ever and the miles between Heaven and Earth don’t change a thing. Love is love and it is precious. And when a parent says it to their son or daughter, regardless of age, and especially if our children temporarily break our heart, those words bring joy, happiness and security. When a child says it to his/her mom or dad – again, regardless of age, they are words we never feel are overstated. Love is the greatest gift.

In my case, I truly, absolutely love everybody and I say it a lot! In fact, folks might think I overdo it, but I hope not. When I recently met with a veteran to assign his Dare County Veteran Discount Card and I started to drive away, I said to him, “Love ya!” and I meant it. It didn’t matter to me if I had never seen him before, I was happy to meet him and thank him for his service. After I got home, I thought, “Gee, he didn’t even know me . . . wonder if he thought I was a little kooky or something!” So I texted him to explain that this is me – Marsha M. Brown – maybe different than a lot of folks for sure, but well-meaning and sincere.

“I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” offer peace within our soul to know that if we made a mistake, let someone special down or really blew it, we can tell them we’re sorry and hopefully they can and will forgive us realizing that none of us are perfect. Sometimes we just plain made a mistake, we misunderstood, we truly forgot or we unintentionally stepped out of line. The hope and assurance the disappointment we might have caused will not be held against us makes a world of difference, because the human aspect is plain and simple – we goof up sometimes, not because we mean to, not because we’re mean spirited or selfish and self-centered. And besides, most of the time, when we let someone else down, in retrospect, the act itself hurts us more deeply. Personally, I fall short of the forgiveness of God way too often. I don’t study “the Word” like I should. I don’t take as good a care of my body as I should. I say bad words if I step on something that hurts or I’m chased by a swarm of wasps trying to get into the truck before I do or if I forget to do something important – that bad word slips out as smooth as melted butter and as quick as a duck on a June bug!

“Good job!” is seldom heard enough in the workplace. Maybe sometimes supervisors or managers think that if they say it too often, the person they’re praising will get a little cocky, overly confident or too sure of themselves so they hold back, but as the voice of experience and for all the close to 40 years I have been a Realtor, I have been privileged to work for a firm on the Outer Banks that I work for today. Years ago, before I went into full times sales, I was a property manager on Hatteras Island – Salvo to be exact – and my boss, Janice A. Farr, senior vice president of property management at Sun Realty, who doesn’t personally care for the title “boss,” set an example that I have not experienced since.

She offered to help me whenever I needed guidance; she encouraged me to be the best I could be and she praised my work. She wasn’t overboard with it with empty words and meaningless compliments, but she fairly and honestly pointed out my good traits as an asset to the company, which kept me wanting to keep on keepin’ on to make her proud. She was a hero to me in the workplace and beyond and still is. I loved her then and I love her now. To know Janice is to love Janice.

We all need kind words no matter where we work or what we do. We are human after all, and I think God instilled in all of us the ability to lift others up to a higher plane, to help us see our potential, our value, our worthiness as employees, staff and associates and to help us grasp our contribution to making life better for not only ourselves but for others too. Though I am now in real estate sales, the ten years under her direct supervision were ten of the happiest working years of my life. (Note: it was Janice Farr’s daddy W. Chris Aydlett Sr.’s celebration of life service that I wrote about in Gig Line, The Sanctity of Life.)

“Thank you!” Two words that express gratitude. A million times . . . I thank you . . . all of you. The first Gig Line I wrote in March 2012 about my sweet Billy’s coming home from Vietnam. It was the story about how his return, his outlook on life and his maturity as a vet, grew me up! He and I weren’t dating when he was deployed in 1966, but after his return in March 1968, God brought us together through a tragic event in my life and from that point, he matured and transformed a 17 year old new graduate of Manteo High School into a young woman who suddenly saw life through his eyes. It was then that I learned what sacrifice really meant, what patriotism was really all about and what riches we as Americans have in our veterans. At 17 we were married and it was nothing but the grace and love of God that gave me the honor and privilege of being married to William S. “Billy” Brown Jr.

What has that got to do with saying “thank you” to all of you? I’ll tell you . . . because when I wrote that first Gig Line, my sweet husband was proud – not because it was about him – it was because Gig Line brought to the forefront a personal perspective on Vietnam veteran brothers and sisters, some of what they went through and from that time almost eight years ago, I have continued to write about Billy, brotherhood love of our veterans, their sacrifice that unintentionally taking them for granted. Through that, I have been blessed beyond measure.

Thank you to all the veterans who have called, emailed or snail mailed me over these years. My Billy is in Heaven four years now, but I’m contacted sometimes by the men and women who read my column who dearly loved their veteran husband, wife, brother or other family member too who is now up there with Billy. Anna, Wendy, Barbara S., Cathy, Therese, Lee B., Barbara L., Liz, Polly, Valerie, Anna, Peggy, Janice and Alline (my Billy was a “hunk a hunk of burning love” too!) and literally countless others. My one true love inspired me to write Gig Line, a name we created together. Then in reading it, you all touched Billy, which made him happy; then you inspired me to continue to write it and over time, we have become a veteran community all in its own and that my friend has made me very thankful. I am currently in the process of writing a book and I cannot wait until its ready to be “out there!”

Until next time, you made my Billy proud, which makes you all precious to me. I love you all! Stay healthy, safe and proud of the veteran you love and were loved by and if he or she is no longer with us, thank the good Lord for the time they were. Love the person God created you to be – He doesn’t mess up! You are special, you are unique and you are the only you there is. Embrace that, okay? Thank you to all our veterans, active duty and military “wantabees!” And please keep wearing your masks because its helping keep all of us safe!

If you want to talk, or you know a vet or family member who could use some help, please call/text me: 252-202-2058 or email me: giglineheroes@aol.com or for the real expert in the matters of Veteran Affairs, contact our Dare County Veteran Service Officer, Patty O’Sullivan 252-475-5604 or email her: dcvac@darenc.com Patty is very diligent about follow up phone calls, so if you call and she doesn’t answer, please leave a detailed message with your name, phone number and if you would like, the reason for your call – she will call you back and she will do everything she can to help you, I promise! Love y’all and please stay tuned!

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