Monday, September 18, 2017

Bright morning

My husband was downstairs, sitting on a bench in the bright morning, waiting for a colleague from work who was coming by to visit with him. This woman is leaving the museum where they've both worked for years, he as an ichthyologist, she as a mammalogist. She's moving to England to take up a position with the natural history museum of Oxford University. She's German, and thrilled that, despite Brexit, she'll have more ready access to home. She travels today, and couldn't leave, she said, without saying, not goodbye, just see you later to my husband.

Before she arrived, our heart son E. came out of his building, which is opposite ours. He saw my husband sitting there with his hands crossed over the curve of his cane. E. came over and sat with him, and they struck  up a conversation in the bright morning.

Moments later, one of our complex's security guards walked up, a Jamaican man we laugh and share stories with all the time. He has jokes, this one. I like knowing he's out there, watching over my children as they come and go. Soon after that, my husband's work colleague arrived, and they all sat around talking in the bright morning.

They asked my man about all he has recently been through, and in his still hoarse whisper he told them, "Once I decided I wanted to live, then I knew I had to say yes to the operation, and that meant I was also saying yes to everything that came after, the pain of recovery, the slow road back, everything."

Our security guard friend cleared his throat. "Look, man," he said sternly, "no fooling around, now. You better get all the way better, because I never had a father, and I'm telling you now, you are a father figure to me."

"Me too," E. said quietly.

"Me too," my husband's work buddy said.

My husband looked taken aback. He put a hand of over his heart and just nodded, humbled.

It was a moment I won't ever forget, shared by a little cluster of people sitting under the trees on a bright Sunday morning.


33 comments:

  1. Crying here. I am in awe. We never know just how far the ripples go.

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    1. Birdie, it brought tears to my eyes too. You just never know. xo

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this moment. Beloved community.

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    1. am, i wanted to record this moment for my children, neither of whom were present when it happened. it felt special.

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  3. Very moving. As was your husband's account of his thought processes prior to the operation.

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    1. jenny_o, he was very quiet the afternoon and evening before the operation, deep in thought. he knew he was choosing between life and death, and he chose life. I'm so grateful he's here.

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  4. You've done it again. Filled my eyes with hot, stinging tears. Your man. That love. This life. The pain and the joy. The reality of what human beings can mean to each other.
    Thank you.

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    1. Ms. Moon, the security guard in particular surprised me. I never knew. Life is all about human connection, isn't it. Nothing else matters quite as much.

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  5. Tears at such love. Love is what matters most. I love you.

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  6. That's such a touching story! Your husband is clearly a special man.

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  7. Beautiful encounter, thank you for sharing. You are in a good place.

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  8. Words to help heal a battered heart.

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  9. This brought tears to my eyes and a deep feeling in my heart about what it means to be a human family. Such love on a park bench in the bright morning sun.

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    1. robin, you're so right, family isn't only about blood, it is even more powerfully about love. thanks for being here around the fire.

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    1. Nerd girl, nice to see you here. Glad you peeked in.

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  11. Yes. That thin line between here and gone. So brief, our little flames. Thank you for a beautiful story.

    in kindness,

    Beth

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    1. Beth, you know so well that thin line, that fragile flame. We dance in its light. xo

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  12. Bright morning indeed, filled with connection and healing.

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  13. Heavens, you know how to take the breath away. What a beautiful experience for him. Mary

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  14. His journey to full recovery, I am sure, is not easy. With each day, may he feel stronger and stronger, and most important, much loved. Susan

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    1. Dear Susan, which of my beloved Susans are you? The one in Paris? The SJVA one? Another one? Please let me know. Your comments have been so sustaining. xo

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    1. Oh, sweetheart, this touches my heart. You know you are one of ours, too. Big love.

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  16. I'm going to bed now, with this in my heart. Thank you for your heart, for all of your hearts.

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    1. Elizabeth, thank you for being part of this circle, in which I find such solace, understanding, strength. Love.

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  17. Definitely beautiful. My heart fluttered in a very lovely way <3

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