Sunday, August 19, 2012
That's what defined our day in the eve of its departure.
I sat and watched you two try to gather those insects for the better part of an hour. Running around, with & into each other until the dusk that settled around all of us could not discern to me who was who and who was not.
That was Goodness to me.
I've written these letters for a reason. Every single one has something you'll eventually want to know I said. Now, what I've said may not always be what you will eventually want to hear from me, but that's how you learn where the two sentiments differ.
Now I want to tell you a story.
A long time ago I hated a boy. I hated him with all of me. His name was Jerry. I hated his name, his face & his existence. I hated. Not because he'd done anything to me but because I was told that's what I should feel.
I hated him because my Mom told me he was "no good" and that I shouldn't "hang around" someone "like him".
In school we'd always been pals. He'd been held back a year. He was older. We played on the playground together in elementary school. Jerry always had dirty clothes. I didn't care. He was a great kickball partner. He was awesome at duck duck goose. He was my friend. He laughed a lot.
One day my Mom told me I shouldn't be friends with him. She told me he was "Bad news".
Mom didn't know Jerry. But she was forewarned about him from other Parents. She was just trying to make sure I didn't get in with the wrong crowd, as it were.
When she and I discuss it now, I see her countenance fade. I know it bothers her.
I don't recall him in middle school. I think he dropped out in High School.
One night in 2009, while perusing news about my hometown, I happened to stumble upon this...
I had not seen his face in over 20 years.
The man who defended his home that night goes to your Gammy's church. He is a good Man. Your Gammy is my Mom, as you know.
I often wonder what would have happened if I'd been allowed to be friends with Jerry. Would he still be here? Would I? Would none of that matter?
These are the things your Dad thinks about.
I think Goodness, like many things, is relative. I think it has always been so & I believe it will always remain so, wearing a shawl of subjectivity as it goes. I think if it were able to give its own definition, it would say...
"I'm just a kid trying to catch fireflies at dusk with a bunch of other kids. Figure out which one I am."
Because if you can... you are Goodness.
And much better than Me.