“...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
-Jack Kerouac, On the Road
This is one of my favorite quotes ever. Perhaps I've used it already in a post. I'll likely use it again. There are very few people you run across that are this special to you in life. People who stop the rain; people who make the blind see; people who will drive all night just to see you in the morning.
If you don't know it already, I'm a sensitive one. Back when my daily existence was determined by a family, we would often have today's offering in the mix while driving around. I would cry over Bright Eyes, "First Day of My Life" because I wanted my beloved to feel the same way I did - as if I was the first day in her life. She certainly was mine even though I'm guessing I didn't convey that. It's another regret and hard for me to understand why I was so difficult when I had so many great examples of people who made everybody go "Awww!"
I traveled out of town yesterday to attend the receiving of friends for an amazing woman. She and her husband are two of my parents dearest friends. I grew up around them in a situation that is extremely rare. Their family's friendship with my family - and a slew of other folks - was full of those "Awww!" moments. As a kid, I was an observer of much laughter...not just laughter but guffaws and buckled on the floor in tears laughter. And concerning tears, there was much of that too. Just so many wonderful moments and emotions surrounding this (what my mother would call) "tribe" of individuals. She was such a giving person. She was a servant. I don't think I ever saw her without a smile on her face.
My emotions are all over the place. I know she's alright and I know the family will make it through this because she was such an amazing human. They are left with wonderful memories. I hope that my children might be able to say that it was fun to be with me when I pass. I fear that they'll be left with memories of arguments and a broken home. I fear that will outweigh all of the good.
The line was long and it was going to be that way until the doors closed. When I finally made it to her children, I could see more pride than sadness in their eyes. They knew what a joy she had been to so many. After I had spoken for a bit to her husband I said, "Thanks so much for letting me be a part of your lives!" He replied, "Thank you for being a part of our lives!" He then grabbed my hands and looked me in the eyes and said, "Man! It sure was fun, wasn't it?!"
What a statement. What a testament. What a wonderful woman.