a couple of cases

May 2, 2015

I wish I had my husband’s heart. I wish that, in the face of a series of significant farewells, I grew sad and reflective, as I see him doing. I wish that, when tears flowed at the prospect of a pending goodbye, my own eyes welled up at the prospect.
I was born to root . . . but bred to roam: raised in a fashion that left me stunted in “normal” settling tendencies and filled with quirky gifts, a few being:
the ability to pack all I really need for a move into two suitcases
a skill at finding the perfect new homes for random items that need giving-away in order to accomplish this 2-suitcase move
the capacity to unpack said 2 suitcases and feel comfortable in a new home in approximately 2 seconds . . . ok, so maybe 2 hours :-)

The other day I discovered an author, as I browsed the poetry section to find a poem to read for one of my classes. His name is Mattie Stepanek, and apparently he has had a fair bit of fame, once making it to the New York Times’ bestseller list. He died at the age of 13, after losing his 3 older siblings to the same disease that took his life (Muscular Dystrophy). This poem in particular struck me, with words expressing the emotion that I with I could express:

“Simple Ablution”

People complain that
Others cry too much.
How sad.
How angering.
How blundering.
Tears are like rain.
They come
Gently, or strongly.
They come
Quietly, or loudly.
They come
Refreshingly, or devastatingly.
But they always,
In some way, come.
And cleanse, and console.
There’s a mess to fix
After the rain,
After the tears,
But it always makes people
And think.
And take notice.
We should all cry
For each other.
If everyone in the world
Cried with and for
Other people and life,
We might be
More caring and peaceful.
We could cry enough
That the world would be
A cleaner and healthier place,
For our people,
For our life,
For our future.

What wisdom coming from such a young heart, and from such deep sorrow in so short of a life! I mused on these words as I finished the workday, trying to coax the appropriate sadness out of myself when speaking to others about my nearing transition.
Shortly thereafter, the school bell sounding, it was time for Track practice to begin. Only two of the students were distance, so I was decided to try to make it a good conversation time as we ran. Both had come on the trip we took a few weeks ago, so I asked them to tell me their highlights from that international track meet. Expecting them to talk about the medals they had won or their time socializing with buddies, I was caught off guard by the first response given: it was a song I had made up one day, as I accompanied 2 girls to the nearest bathroom. Noticing the rhyme one had accidentally spoken, I began to sing a song about how “we all need to pee.” Once getting started with it, of course, I couldn’t resist hamming it up a bit, and making a fool of myself in the process :-)
Now, stereotypically, one would think that this sort of behaviour, coming from one’s 35-year-old coach, would mortify a couple of teenage girls who were, incidentally, in the company of several hundred other teenage girls and boys. So when she gave this response, I looked at her in disbelief. Then I laughed. And the joy that welled up in my heart as we all laughed together brought tears to my eyes.
So maybe not the kind of tears I was trying for but, hey, I’ll take it :-)

*When it came my turn for highlight-sharing, I had an immediate response: our post-meet airport photo shoot. At this point in the game, the races were done and all were happy from the success, tired from the effort, and grungy from lack of showering after the fact. These factors seemed to combine in order to create a mutual sense of giddy carefreeness as we waited our the flight delay. For some reason, it made me particularly giddy to get to join in on the fun as we took a series of jumping photos . . . and somehow, it seems a fitting image for this particular post.

One Response to “a couple of cases”

  1. Kari Gorman said

    I loved that poem! You are an MK. We rarely were granted the time or permission to grieve and with so many good byes our hearts tend to close. You are who you are and it is okay. God can and is using you as you are. I enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for sharing.

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