I remember Jim Curry and “buttons.” The story: When asked how he liked the dress a woman was wearing, he apparently did not, but replied he liked “the buttons.”
Through the years, I have taken to heart the lesson of this simple story: an object lesson of thoughtfulness, optimism and humor – Jim Curry qualities.
Jim was thoughtful and thought-filled. He had opinions and loved to express them, but never at the expense of his audience. His gregarious nature demanded attention and people gave him attention freely. He had a lot to say – out loud, writing stories and even in thank you notes, he spoke his heart. A listener was enlightened and entertained.
The buttons story encourages one to claim optimism in any situation – no matter how unattractive or perhaps discouraging the circumstances. Always look for the good – even when that good may appear to be overshadowed. Jim enjoyed life through the lens of looking for the best, seeing goodness and finding joy – in situations as well as in people. Present him with a challenge and he would find an answer appeasing everyone. Even as a high school girl, I knew this man had a secret to living life well.
When Steve and Paul told stories about their dad, they could not begin easily. They just laughed and laughed and eventually we would hear, “I have to tell you what my dad SAID! You won't believe it!” And because we knew “Mr. Curry,” we believed the bold opinions, the outrageous comments and the hysterically funny antics of this kind man.
Mostly, I remember how much Jim loved life and worked hard to share that love of life with his family. He adored his wife, Barbara, calling her “lover” with deep affection in his voice every time he spoke to her. He was president of the Steve and Paul fan club – encouraging them in their interests and talents – knowing they would grow up to share their own kindness with others. They have.
May the days ahead be filled with healing for Jim's family and friends. And may his life continue to teach others how to look for “nice buttons” in life's challenges as well as in its delights.