J: I sell real estate. When a house is really ugly cosmetically but is well built, we often say the house has "good bones". That means that it is fundamentally sound and a little elbow grease is all that's needed to bring it back to its former glory; it has staying power. I always look for houses with good bones for my clients.
Sweet T and GRB have good bones. Their "good bones" are built from a solid faith in God, an unwavering work ethic and the ability to persevere when the going got tough. GRB built a business from the ground up, and Sweet T was beside him all the way. They started out with next to nothing. They were frugal and happy to do without. They saved their money. They led by example; always showing us and not telling us the best way to live. They had some rough years. Some of their kids (author excluded) gave them a run for their money. They buried parents and siblings and friends. But they pressed on.
My siblings and I learned from them. We are all hard workers. We all persevere. We have strong marriages that we have made work through hard work, a strong faith in God and ability to laugh at ourselves. We have picked spouses with good bones.
My hope for my boys is that they find girls with good bones. Life is not always easy. There are lots of dark days. Fortitude is not an attribute you will find people advertising or searching for on dating sites, but it is truly one of the most important qualities a potential spouse can have.
Century homes get special plaques when they hit that milestone, essentially cementing their "good bones" for all eternity. Sweet T and GRB deserve a plaque too. Thanks, mom and dad, for passing along your good bones. And ladies with good bones - I have some boys I'd like you to meet!