Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Today was a typical springtime day in the Pacific Northwet. Rain squall. Wind. Another rain squall. Then suddenly, brilliant, piercing sunshine that had been patiently waiting it's turn to show off...and that was just the first five minutes of the day. I loved it! I used to think that fall was my favorite season, but on days like today I've decided not to decide. The fall has it's gale force winds and dancing leaves and thunderheads. The spring has it's zephyr winds and bursting buds and winsomeness as counterparts, but spring carries with it one thing fall doesn't. Promise. The dark days of autumn are a precursor to the even darker days of winter, and around here that means: dismal. Ahh, but spring! Spring taps you on the shoulder and says, "You thought today was something? Wait 'til tomorrow!" That sounds good to me.

And, like the weather, my mind was busy if not equally unpredictable today.

I drove by the house where my friend Chuck used to live. It was about a year ago that Chuck decided his life wasn't worth living anymore. He parked his truck around the back side of the shed, hooked up a hose to the exhaust pipe and ran it into the cab of the truck and started it up. He was a seemingly happy man. Loved his wife and kids and grandkids. There were no outside indications that he was distraught, but I can't help but think he must have been. The last time I talked to him he was his usual, jovial self. I didn't know it was the last time I would talk to him. You rarely do. It made me wonder who I saw for the last time today, and do they feel promise?

My friend Mikey has a new, artificial femur (not that he ever had an old, artificial one...) If you've read my blog before, you'll probably remember Mikey. About a month or so ago he found out that the chemotherapy treatments he'd endured did absolutely nothing to decrease or even stagnate the growth of a cancerous tumor in his knee so he had to go in and have surgery. They removed the tumor, most of his knee, and 80 percent of his femur. He lost a lot of weight and is looking very pale but, that's to be expected, they said. He is using crutches to get around and is already back to working in the kitchen at the new cafe. I got to talk to him for a few minutes today. I made him laugh...that made me smile.

The last few mornings as I threw the covers off and planted my feet on the floor, I found myself singing a line from a Jackson Browne song that goes, "...I get up and do it again, amen." because sometimes the repetition of my life is a little bit tiring. But, today as I was thinking, I realized that had I not done this thing that I do day in and day out, I wouldn't have even known Chuck. At least not that well. And although it was sad, there would be no missing him today. I wouldn't know Mikey well enough to pray for (and ask for prayer for) him. We wouldn't have shared that laugh today. So, tomorrow, when my feet hit the floor, I'll change my tune slightly and I'll sing, "thank you, I get to get up and do it again, amen."

I promise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Pretender. One of my former favorites. Not so much now...

I am glad you do it again and again. It makes me smile and I like that.

Keep at it John. Strangely enough, i spoke with someone just today who you have improved and enriched their life. They are glad to know you.