On Feb. 5, 2007, my 37 year old nephew Jake died of a heart attack in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. A few years earlier, my 12 year old great niece Rebecca died of an adverse drug reaction to a medication. Last year, James Burnett of the Miami Herald and his wife lost a baby during pregnancy. Mel lost a dear, close friend and associate this week and is dealing with the loss, and showing me the way, slowly and painfully. This list could go on.
James wrote a column to friends who had just lost a child and described to them some of the things that would happen, the grief, the thousand well meaning questions that would all be the same. The inability to provide comfort to each other, and the need for time to pass, and the healing that would come. But the memories remain, as they should.
Mel, in an amazingly precise style that takes complex subjects and reduces them to simplicity states in a single sentence a truth so obvious about a topic that you wonder why you never realized precisely what she said before. She will flesh things out for you and leave you with a clear realization. These little paragraphs she calls the 'reading fairies'. The other posts range from hilarious to practical to Mel being human. If I have never mentioned it before, I stand in awe of this woman. She teaches one to live by example.
Glamourpuss is a woman I have known for three or more years now. I met her when I first started blogging. Her father could have been mine. When I look at Puss and how much she has changed since she left teaching at the school she was at, and went to work and started pole dancing, I see someone who has shown me how to live. I am not saying it hasn't been easy for her, or a bed of roses, it has not been either. She has worked harder than most people I know and the result of her efforts are staring to pay off for her. She is another of my heroes.
Which brings me to Skinny Little Blond (she is now going by the name Skinny Little Sister as she has at least one Sister, Singleton). When I was in graduate school, I read so much existentialism I went through a dark period until I finally figured out that the existentialists didn't finish writing a book or a play (particularly Sartre) and then go out and cut their own throat. That was a revelation. Read Skinny and you'll read someone who seems to have mastered existentialism and writes it in everything she does, and then shows you how to live and find excitement in doing so. It doesn't matter if it's going for a ride in the fastest dragster in the county (and taking off your seatbelt as the car goes flying over a hill) or going to visit your brother for two weeks and staying for a few months and raising some hell. Skinny knows how to live.
And what provoked this post? My friend Spellbound who writes WordsOnWaking. She wrote a post about having a night to herself and ended up talking about she wasn't worried about dying, it was making sure that she lived. A provacative issue isn't it?
Here's a reading fairy of Mel's to give you an idea:
"Resentments are the blocks that hold us back from loving others and ourselves.
Resentments do not punish the other person; they punish us.
They become barriers to feeling good and enjoying life.
They prevent us from being in harmony with the world.
Resentments are hardened chunks of anger.
They loosen up and dissolve with forgiveness and letting go.
Letting go of resentments does not mean we allow the other person to do anything to us that he or she wants.
It means we accept what happened in the past, and we set boundaries for the future.
We can let go of resentments and still have boundaries.
We try to see the good in the person or the good that ultimately evolved from whatever incident we feel resentful about.
We try to see our part.
Then we put the incident to rest."
And last, but not least is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". The actual German translation is 'Life is Wonderful'. When you realize that Beethoven wrote the entire 9th Symphony stone deaf, you can only begin to comprehend the amazing achievement he performed. It is so technically complex, and difficult that the Japanese honored him when designing the DVD by making the DVD large enough to hold a recoding of the entire 9th Symphony in his honor. Ode to Joy is about 3 and a half minutes long. Please enjoy, and end on a happier note.
I rest my case. Have a great weekend.