'Tis the season- for VOTY submissions! This year, the Powers That Be of BlogHer have put a word count cap on the submittable posts. For that reason, I have edited a few favorites down to the required 700 word max, and am republishing them. (I know, Poppa must be so pleased.) Please enjoy these posts, and keep your fingers crossed for me come selection time!!!
My children have been watching "Charlotte's Web." I hide in the pantry eating Cadbury Creme Eggs and bawling like a baby. This is because Charlotte and Wilbur are me and M.
When we got together, I was being stalked and threatened. M made me laugh when I was scared, he was a true friend. Then, when I thought my life was fixed, he got brain cancer. I feel for Wilbur so hard. To have such a good friend- somebody who knows and loves you and only wants what's best for you... and to learn you're going to lose them once they've put together the pieces of your shattered little life.
It also works the other way.
M was diagnosed with astrocytoma, and I was there. I didn't let him sit and cry. I took care of him, comforted him, forced him to live under the assumption he'd live. I helped M get through chemo and radiation, we started a family together... and what happens? Charlotte dies, but she dies happy. She knows Wilbur will be okay, she knows her children will go into the world and do great things. She's at peace with her death. THAT slays me. Because if I could spend all my life making sure M would live... I would. I'd die happy, knowing I'd protected a deeply wonderful person.
The awareness of death is unescapable in our family, in that way we're like Charlotte. Charlotte knows a spider's life is short. She knows she won't live to see Wilbur's security, or meet her children.
And she's okay with that.
Charlotte's better than me. She's made peace with the inevitability of death.
"We're born, we live a little, then we die," she says. It's so simple.
Charlotte's Web makes me cry because it's the best love story I know. It expresses the importance of friendship. While there's no romance between Charlotte and Wilbur, we know love's there.
Charlotte tells Wilbur he never had to do anything more than be her friend. That's love. You don't love somebody because you expect things of them. You love them because of who they are, and more, who they are to you.
I love M for nights we've stayed up too late, laughing about nothing and enjoying each others company. I love him for afternoons spent on the couch, playing video games or reading a book. I love him for the letters he wrote me before we started dating, jokes and casual support and the understanding of who I am and who I was and who I wanted to be.
I'm Charlotte and I'm Wilbur at once. Confronting mortality from its many angles, confronting the meaning of love, friendship, hope, and acceptance.
I sit in front of my computer, crying again, the lyrics of Charlotte's lullaby playing in my head.
"Oh what a joy to live. How very special are we, for just one moment to be part of Earth's eternal rhyme?"
It is a joy to live. It is just a moment in eternity we have this opportunity, this sliver of time in which we can love, so deeply that all which came before and all that comes after has meaning. To love so hard we're willing to suffer, if only to make another person's infinitesimal moment of eternity brighter.
There's a throwaway lyric in the title song... "Sometimes when somebody loves you, miracles somehow appear."
My life feels like a miracle M gave me, by loving me so much. Sometimes I wonder if there's some kind of magic in the universe that love can pull into the world to manifest miracles. Maybe M's life is a miracle I made by loving. Maybe his life is a miracle he made by loving me.
I can't think of how I felt after his diagnosis without physical pain. It hurts to love so hard, to feel something inside you, beyond the physical, shattering. Maybe the miracle is the broken feeling went away, and I got to feel happy again.
That I have the luxury to lay down and die peacefully in the rafters. To share even part of my tiny sliver of eternity with my best friend.
How very special are we.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.