Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Not Going Gently into That Good Night...

It's that time of year again. I don't mean to sound flip, but enough with the dead people already. December 9 marks my second year without Jason - I miss his little giggle - how he covered his mouth, made wide eyes, and shook his shoulders...

My niece is having her bad year this year. She lost her grandfather (my sister-in-law's father), and two of her friends were killed in two separate car-related accidents. One was driving, the other was hit and while standing on the corner, waiting for a school bus. The latter was her dance partner in her choral group.

I talked to her in the middle of the "anger" stage in greivng. "Kelly, why can't some stupid kid die? This one was going somewhere with his life!"

I didn't want to be callous, but the truth is - we don't get to pick. To everything there is a season... and all that. I felt awful telling her that... because it's a truth that just too hard to bear - a reminder that we're all powerless over the inevitable... that fairness and justice are concepts we don't understand - and that - life is sometimes just unbearable and there's nothing we can do...

Nothing that is, except be thankful we got to know the people for the time we had them.

I guess I'm feeling this way because concurrently, two of my dearest friends flew in from Kansas last week. My friend's father, Myron died at age 72. I didn't know him well, but because John and his family are so close, it was a sad, sad time for me. I kind of lost it at the funeral... Myron was a Korean and Vietnam Vet. The local vets came in droves. At one point, they surrounded the casket, (In formation) and saluted. It was so moving. During the service, John and his sister spoke - a feat braver than I can imagine - of their dad... John told a stories of how his father had gone to Korea at age 17... how he never spoke of it until very late in life - when he went to local colleges and high schools to talk about the life of a soldier:

"He said they always asked him if he'd ever shot anyone. His answer was always, 'I'm here, aren't I?'"

Then there was the other side of Myron - the husband. He'd known his wife early in life as the girl next door. They lived in adjoining row homes, and their bedrooms were separated by a wall. He claims he'd been sleeping with his wife for years before they ever married. How sweet is that?

Then, when John described for the crowd gathered his "birds and bees" talk: "I was fifteen years old. My father walked into the kitchen and asked, "Do you drink?" (No, answered John.) "Do you do drugs?" (No, answered John) "Do you like girls?" (Yes, answered John.) "Ok then." And with that, Myron walked out of the kitchen.

Last week, two people walked out of the lives of people I care deeply about - and my words to my niece are haunting me... "We just don't get to pick." They're too true to be comforting...

People who leave us just dig a hole in our hearts - The holes never really fill up - we just grow accustomed to them in our own ways.


Post a Comment

<< Home