Nov 21, 2013

What I'm Still Learning From The Death Of A Salesman...


                                                                                     Mark Carroll

  Death Of A Salesman, a 1949 Tony Award, Pulitzer prize winning tragedy. Revived on Broadway four times, performed seven hundred forty two times. The ending always the same. Tragedies tend to do that.

The salesman I speak of shares two similarities to this play.... only two.
 A tragedy and revived... relived,
 at least in my mind more often that I can count. The audience is smaller but the story stays with you for a lifetime, instead of dinner conversation after a show, quickly forgotten by breakfast.
Tragedies do that.

Of course he was so much more than a salesman.
Yet this man could sell a bikini to an Eskimo in January, a corvette to your grand-mom in February and a palm tree to the mayor of Toronto in March. Strike that last one... all bets off with that guy.
He would do it with integrity, respect and you would have a new friend at the end of the day. 
When your corvette got stuck in the snow, he'd pull you out.
 When your palm tree died, he'd sell you another one at cost and remind you to keep it inside. 
When you complained it was too cold for a bikini, he'd tell you to have faith... the sun is coming out... tomorrow.
His friends were without number. 
He was solid as a man should be. He lived much in his short years.

Today would be his birthday, fifty three.
In my eyes he is still twenty nine, a joyful, compassionate man who lived to make others happy. I was grateful to be at the top of his list. 
I can easily write these words, no fear of hiding my love and gratefulness for this man, who died too young.

I am married again... to a man who will read this and touch my hand, reminding me how thankful he is... for me, for the daughter that he has raised, the relationship they share.
He is rich in love, compassion and integrity. 
He carries my heart with gentleness.

The similarities between these two men... character, integrity, compassion. 
Qualities that make a man.

When the lights went out twenty three years ago, I didn't know if I would survive. I had been light hearted, carefree... Simply put, I was fun. 
Then tragedy struck and I lost an innocence that would never be returned.

It has taken years and a husband who knows joy to teach me to trust again. To breathe in and out... 
To live.

 I spoke to my mom on the phone recently. The woman is a tornado, a one woman show,
 a wrecking ball... too much? 
Sorry. 
She never stops moving. I am grateful for that... and her. 
She talked of a friend, 15 years younger, recently lost the love of her life, the grief she is going through. 
My mom, two years into this life as a widow. 
Another friend of hers, the same.
Me, all those years ago at 28. 
What do you do?
No matter the age? 

What I am still learning... simple truths. Grab love when you find it, hold it close, protect it, cherish it, always  with grace.
I'm learning...
life is tragic mostly, with moments of joy squeezed in between.
Tragedy will shake us, and we will need others to pull us up, hold tightly, spoon feed us and nurture us back to health. 
This will take time.
 I thought I was healthy for years, yet looking back, I was still broken. It took perseverance, time and deep love.
My grief so deep, my faith so solid... a conflict of emotions.
I knew Truth, yet my heart ached.

Death steals from us, sometimes in the form of last breaths, bringing grief that buries itself deep. 
Other times it comes as slowly dying relationships, causing heartache and gaping wounds that never heal.

We must remember love... the joy of being loved. 
We do not throw away, bury or ignore our past. 
We cannot, even when tried.
Our past is the path to our present.
 Embrace it and feel free to look in the rear view mirror and cherish those who loved you along the way.
Even those who hurt you... there is always a silver lining. 
The gifts you took from that relationship.
 When you look ahead the window is big, without obstacles. 
Embrace life and live it fully invested in those who come alongside you.
Trust again.

Happy Birthday to the man who invested in me in my younger years. Who nurtured me, loved me and provided a beautiful life for me. Always will you be in my heart.

Until we meet again...




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