Friday, March 6, 2015

The Keeper of the Promise

For just a minute there I was dreaming
For just a minute it was all so real
For just a minute she was standing there with me.
- Tom Petty 

These are days in which my big sister Evan would gladly trade gold for the ability to sleep, let alone dream.  These are, for her, dark days indeed.   But they are days that she shall make it through, fueled in equal parts by her own determination and by the memories of a well-lived life.  Rose Kennedy, yet another Irish woman who knew a thing or two about tragedy, said it far better than I ever could:  It has been said "Time heals all wounds."  I do not agree.  The wounds remain.  In time the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone."  

I am not a believer in coincidence.  Yet, here in the first week of March, as Evan grieves, I am struck by the fact a woman whose friendship I have valued - and undoubtedly abused on too many occasions to count - for more than thirty-five years is celebrating her birthday today.  I am struck by that confluence of events because it was during a week not quite thirty-four years ago - analogous to the interminably long week that my big sister is enduring presently - that I first had my eyes opened to the depth and breadth of her friendship.  Earlier this week, Jill made me promise not to do anything to embarrass her on her birthday, which promise I kind of, sort of made.  So, rather than tell that particular tale again here at length, I simply shall direct you here.   

Yours truly is a person of few friends, which is an arrangement that is mutually acceptable to me and to the world at large.  I am fortunate to be able to count Jill as one, particularly so in light of some truly terrible thing she swears I did to her on our class picnic in 7th grade.  The combination of alcohol and age has rendered my memory infirm as to my alleged transgression.  However, given the fact that she is who she is and the fact that I am riding a forty-eight-year consecutive asshole streak, I have no reason to doubt the veracity of her recollection.  

It is when the days are their darkest that you most appreciate those who bring Light into your day-to-day.  For Hope rides with Light and as a very wise man once observed, "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."  

A message to take to heart during days like these, even if it may seem almost impossible to believe. A message to take to heart, really, every day.  Never shall the day arrive for which you have no need for Hope.   


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