Many people and circumstances have come and gone in my life. I have spent the last several months writing about some of those people and circumstances. For me, it has been fun and enlightening to relieve these stories. Though I do have to admit some of the stories have been hard to write, but the healing that has come through sharing the stories has been invaluable.
Though there were many painful times, times when I was knocked down and left face first in the dust of despair and disappointment, through it all I have been able to come to the conclusion that even on those days life was good. When all was said and done, those tough times did not define me, but rather they produced growth within me. Those times helped mold me into the person I am today.
Even though I spent years coming across as “Tough as nails,” in that I kept my emotions held tight and close to my heart, I came to the conclusion, during my friends death, that I was not infallible, nor untouchable. His life, and ultimately his death, profoundly touched and changed my life.
It was during this time that I spoke frequently with my brother on the phone and just wept. I am not sure if he cried with me, all I know is that he let me cry, and he let me mourn. He reminded me of my friend’s love, and told me he loved me as well. He encouraged me to hurt, and he encouraged me to never stop loving. For that I will be forever grateful.
He also wrote a poem for Old Man and me that summed up our last days together. A poem I dearly love:Those sad songs Those gray windows That rain Hard, cold and heavy My heart is old and torn I’m sitting in the luckless gloom Drinking black coffee Smoking cigarettes And counting my days Fewer now, and getting fewer And I won’t win I won’t triumph I will not beat death But still I count Fewer now 1)
Allowing pain in life is not easy, but it is necessary.
After my friends death, and once I was able to look at the situation clearly, not emotionally, I was able to see that there was a greater good at work. So what is that good, you might ask? Becoming the person I was meant to be. Becoming a person whom willingly spends hours talking to a dying man and who loves when love is hard to give.
There is a quote by Frederick Buechner that I love and applies to situations like these:
“Even the saddest things can become, once we have made peace with them, a source of wisdom and strength for the journey that still lies ahead.”
This morning as I sat on my front porch, watching the sun come up and drinking my coffee, I raised my cup to the sky and said “Thank You.” Thank you to Old Man, for all those morning coffee times. Thank you for all the lessons you taught me. Thank you for your stories, but most of all your friendship. You helped me to be the person I am today. This coffee is for you!