Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Scar Tissue

A year ago today the world lost a truly remarkable woman. I had the pleasure of knowing Suzanne Bozzomo for the final two decades of her life. She was my wife's mother, my children's grandmother and the unquestioned anchor of her family. The world is rife with "mother-in-law" jokes. I cannot recall ever having told one at the expense of Suzy B and if I ever did, then shame on me. She never merited them. Not a one. Not ever.

The great American philosopher and football player Robert Lilly years ago made an exquisitely prescient observation regarding the importance of "fight in a dog" being significantly more so than the importance of "a dog in a fight." Suzy B was tiny in size, enormous in spirit and boundless in heart. She battled valiantly against breast cancer for five years. While there is not a soul who I can think of who deserves to be attacked by any form of cancer, there are scant few I can think of who deserved to be immunized from it more than did my mother-in-law. There are those who I love to whom I am joined either by blood or by marriage who believe fervently in the notion of God. While I love them I cannot fathom the reliance upon mythology. Here in the real world, love of God and living of one's life according to a certain code - always putting others first - turns out in the end to be worth less than the effort expended. It infuriates me. And it infuriates me even more so that I cannot do a damn thing about stop prevent it.

The woman who is the great love of my life (for which I am more fortnuate than I ever had any right to be) will have a tremendously tough day today. Truth be told, every day for Margaret this past year has been a tremendously tough day. The question is never whether or not her heart aches over the loss of her mom, it is simply a matter of degree.

I hope that Margaret and I have too many years to go together to count. I know though that regardless of the length of the journey that pain that is etched there in the corner of her eyes will never go away entirely. For once one's heart is broken, it never becomes unbroken. The best one can hope for is that the hole in the heart closes over. If and when it does it leaves behind evidence of the trauma....

Evidence that will be carried forever.


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