A first cursory check of my i phone brought me news of a friend’s father’s death. He was a prince; she is an angel. He was ill- that doesn’t matter. Death will miraculously restore him to vitality, the invalid will soon be forgotten. The mourning is for the healthy, wonderful father, not the patient. For a moment there is cause for celebration….he is free, suffers no more….rest in peace. Then loss intervenes. And overcomes. I know this process, and I know my friend. She will fortify all her family, and she will heal. But she will suffer. That is the price for having love and blessings in our life.
At noon, Roger called to say Steve’s brother was dead. He was found at home, crumpled on the floor. He was the yin to Roger’s yan. Roger provided structure for Rick, and Rick proffered the basics of human kindness: food, comfort, company. They had synergy, Roger said, when I offered my inadequate condolences. He was brave. I was befuddled. Rick was only 52. He never had the joy of bouncing his nephew. Had no wife, no kids- just Roger. There will be a void for Steve’s Dad, and navigation of all sorts of grief. Logistical rearrangements. Chaos. Legal considerations. Too much for an 82 year old Roger to juggle.
Steve packed. He flew away. Our kids rallied about, offering their own kindness. After Steve departed, we went to a dive bar, had dinner. Hugged goodbye. Sent love and pictures to Steve, living large on a Virgin flight with wifi. Then we spun out to the corners of our lives, in progress.
At 7, news reached me that a friend of mine had returned home to discover her daughter, stabbed and dying. It looked like a home invasion. What material object would seduce a person to cause grave harm to a 14 year old? How can these parents go forward? If I felt like a plastic bag had descended upon my head, how could this Mom and Dad breathe? I am beyond comprehension of this evil.
Sometimes the disorder in the universe defies our best efforts to understand life . I cracked open a pinot noir, hoping to obscure my sad rage. No luck. I am sadder and madder.
It was a bad day.
Tomorrow will be better, I expect; life cannot be more cruel than it was today. The climb out of this pit will require more than a good vintage. Prayer might be a start, but it is hard to summon the purity of faith at the moment. Paradoxically, this is the time where faith might guide me from this abyss. So I will pray for faith for me…and peace for my friends and loved ones who will start tomorrow in despair.
As insurance, I will finish the bottle. Hangover or not, tomorrow will be a new day.
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