Dear Winn – 15 May 2016

Dear Winn:
In your last letter you mentioned we would write again when the urge strikes. Well, it has struck, and I write to you on this Sunday morning in Colorado that resembles something from a postcard of Seattle, all fog and gray-drear. I’ve felt that way lately about life in our country – all fog and drear. So I was glad when my parents (I visited them this week) told me a non-fog-drear story, a true tale of goodness that righted my sights.
There is a man who is a dear friend of my parents, let’s call him Barry. And he has ALS. Barry’s condition is growing worse by the day, his body simply withering away, its to the point where he can’t feed himself. He is still living at home though, his wife is caring for him, staying true to those old words: for better, for worse. And just that would have been enough to remind me that this is a good country, filled with heroes on every block. But the story got notched up a bit because there is another man who is a dear friend of my parents, let’s call him Huck. And Huck is a bit impetuous, he’s often referred to as “that Huck” (don’tcha love that?) Well, the story goes that Huck showed up at Barry’s house last week, walked right in and announced, “We’re going on a road trip.” Huck gathered what Barry would need, then manhandled him into his vehicle and they drove the two plus hours to the lodge at Mount Magazine near Mena, Ark., and ate lunch. These two friends then spent a little while looking at one of the most gorgeous views in the state, then turned around and drove back home.
Winn, regardless of who ends up in the White House this year, its the people of this country that make it grand, people who practice fidelity to the land, to one another, and to themselves. Some of that fidelity is daily, like a wife being the hands that feed her husband morning, noon, and night. And some of that fidelity is rash, like a friend showing up on your doorstep with a harebrained idea that just might work. Its sorta like that scene in It’s A Wonderful Life where George stands up to Mr. Potter, and describes the people “who do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community” –  those people will soldier on regardless of the whims inside the Beltway. Anyway, I thought you’d like that story, maybe even need it. I know I sure did.
I was in Arkansas to bring Will back to Colorado for the summer. Its so good to have him home. Abbey has a “continuation” ceremony on Wednesday, next stop – high school. My lord. And Sarah graduates from high school on Friday, next stop – Pepperdine. Dear lord. My friend, these are days in which my heart swells one moment and breaks the next, then swells again, then breaks again. But that voice in my head (one of them) remains faithful: “Just keep breathing, John.” So I do.
Thanks for listening, pard.

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1 Comment

  1. Lynn Schriner on May 15, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Dear Lord that is good writing! “a good country filled with heroes on every block” Remarkable.
    Thank you for inspiring this dried up old lady to write something soon. Bless you

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