Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Tribe of the Ampersand

I almost drove my car off of Route 287 this morning on my way to the office. I am not entirely certain if it was a response to a spike in the consistently tedious level of pain I have had in my low back - and radiating down both of my legs - for about the past six weeks, the WCBS 880 weatherman's five day forecast (which for the first time since February I think included more days with sunshine than without) or the combination thereof. All I know was that for one fleeting moment things got a tad hairy before equilibrium was restored. Nothing like a near miss to add a bit of excitement to the 4:00 a.m. morning jaunt north.

This Saturday, the first of Joe and Suzy B.'s grand kids joins the ever-burgeoning number of "the Tribe of the Ampersand". Megan and her fiance Adam (Hell of a name, by the way) shall become a "Mr. & Mrs." And none too soon by the way inasmuch as "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" have morphed into "Jon & Kate & the reasons why we separate" on their way to becoming "Jon & Kate & things about which to litigate" before arriving at "Jon & Kate & the ex-spouse each one loves to hate".

Nature abhors a vacuum after all. It is refreshing to see that two genuinely nice young folks are going to be able to step right in and fill the space in the Tribe of the Ampersand left vacant by two of the biggest publicity whores the world has ever encountered. On behalf of members of the Tribe everywhere, let me assure the rest of you that we have pulled off the most lopsided trade this side of Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi.

And if there is a family in need of a reason to smile and to celebrate life and the promise the future holds for a young couple on their wedding day, it is Margaret's family. June this year appears to have added a few hundred additional days. This has been an extraordinarily long, depressing and unceasingly sad calendar stop thus far. The whole family - even those of us whose only link is marriage and not biology - needs a reason to exhale. A reason to remember something other than sadness, pain and profound loss.

Saturday presents all of us with such an opportunity. It will be a day tinged by sadness no doubt given that Suzy B. fell so tantalizingly short of her goal, which was to be able to not only attend but to enjoy Megan's wedding. But the overwhelming emotion of the day shall be joy. And it shall serve as a reminder to those of us here still tripping over the mortal coil on occasion that life is meant to be lived - and not merely endured or tolerated.

And it appears as if this Saturday may in fact dawn hot and sunny, which is not unusual for the final Saturday in June here 'neath the snow globe but, in light of the weather we have suffered through this month, would be one hell of a surprise. And if the forecast holds up and we get sunshine in place of rain, it will serve as evidence that a certain Nona had a chat with a certain Mother about not even thinking about screwing up the weather on her granddaughter's wedding day.

Sunshine and all of the powerful energy it provides are things that her family desperately needs. Given Suzy B.'s ability to make the seemingly impossible attainable for those she loved, perhaps a sun-filled wedding day for Megan & Adam should come as no surprise whatsoever. It will be just another example of Nona being Nona.

And just one more reason to smile for a family that is in desperate need of them. The perfect wedding gift as it were, given to the bride and groom but shared equally with all of us.

-AK

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