And The Night Is As Fair As The Day
How do you say good bye to someone who shouldn't have gone? What do you do when the picture beside the closed casket is more suited to a learner's permit? What do you tell a parent who is having to bury a child whose loving spirit couldn't stand up against the tidal flood of drugs in his system?
We sat in the front of the church and stared at the casket. The lid didn't shut quite plumb, and one carnation in the arrangement on the floor was broken at the head. It was in full bloom, but it faced the floor--snapped dead when it was at its prettiest. If I'd made that up it would sound over the top. Sometimes the world seems to know all on its own how things are. I wondered for an instant if we were on the bride's side by mistake, and then I remembered. The preacher's name was Gaia, and that made me smile.
The church was full of children that would irritate me if we were at the mall. I wrote my name in a book that reached me during the final words of the sermon. It said _________, my Boo on the cover. If you're someone's boo, how bad must all else be if you need to leave? The book was full of addresses, like it made us all feel better to reassert our belonging someplace. This is where we are. This is where you can find us. We are here.
His father is a salesman more comfortable in front of a group than any other man alive. He might have been president if he hadn't wanted other things from life. He gave the most important speech of his life. He begged a roomful of weeping kids to not give up the same battle that robbed him of his boy. This more than any other time I hope his audience bought it.
I was talking to Tim about King David on Sunday night, before we even knew about this. I had felt so moved earlier in the day by David's love for the son who betrayed him. The words David spoke at the news of his hanging son are now etched in my mind more firmly than I thought possible.
My son Absalom, Absalom my son: would to God that I might die for thee, Absalom my son, my son Absalom.