I didn’t, actually. But someone did.
I drifted through yet another secondhand store looking for books. I find my comfort in words. But my fingers fail me at times. I write poems and essays and letters in my head; fast, born wholly formed and pushing to emerge. I can’t get them onto the screen or the page fast enough to calm my jitters. So I seek solace in the words of others; in the rhythmic waterfall of other people’s poems and essays and letters.
At Lodi Thrift store, a slim black volume eased itself from the shelf onto my open palm. I wrote this for you, its satin cover announced. PLEASEFINDTHIS. I paid the dollar and I took my chance.
This evening I waited for my friend whom I had not seen since she lost her son.. I sat on my porch, searching for something to say when she crossed the yard between our houses. This would be my first glimpse of the grief in her eyes, my first encounter with the overflow of the darkness gripping her soul. I did not want to fail her.
I darted inside to use the ten minutes as well as I could, willing my spirit to be open for whatever she needed. On the step, just above my heart-shaped mirror, I saw the volume of poetry and re-read its title — I wrote this for you. As I lifted the book, it fell open to the introduction:
You are holding in your hands
what was promised to you
years ago. I’m sorry it took so
long. But life, as is so often the
case, is life and we forget about
the promises we’ve made.
You, however, are harder to
I know the world is crazy. I know
love is not always the
way it’s meant to be. I know
sometimes, things hurt. But
I also know that we’ll get
through this. That our hearts
will arrive on the other side,
in one piece. That everything
is beautiful, if we give it the
chance to be.
I’ve tried to write down what
I saw and what you told me
and I sincerely don’t think I
missed anything. Let me know
if I have.
I love you. I miss you.
When Laurie arrived, somehow we knew just what to say to each other. And as the evening waned, I listened to her stories. I beheld the timeless cadence of her sorrow. I marveled at the silent sound of her sweet, sweet tears as they flowed past the brave, tender curve of her smile.
It’s the seventh day of the sixty-eighth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.