Sunday, April 10, 2005

Acknowledgements (over the course of a life) - by profmarcus

Acknowledging who and what has been influential in the course of an entire life is a tad tricky. Still, it would be grossly negligent of me not to recognize some of those who have helped, sometimes kicked, and, just as often, dragged me down the untrodden path of my life.

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At the top of the list is my late mother. Sainted, she’s not. But of all the gifts (as well as lumps of coal) she gave me, foremost is the ability to laugh, without which I would already be dead.

Then there’s my grandmother, my first best friend.

The priest who taught my high school senior boys’ religion class did no less than teach me how to think.

My first boss in my first real job and the godmother of my children, a woman of unbounded warmth, intelligence, and compassion (recently deceased, god rest her soul), showed me the dignity and respect that is the just due of all working people.

My ex-wife, a tortured soul, insisted on keeping before my eyes the reality that we ALWAYS get what we need. Too bad we put up with each other’s garbage for so long.

My last therapist, a kind, gentle, and wise man, quickly heard me out, responded with, “Ok, so, now what?” and then proceeded to coax me into sanity.

My three children, about each of whom I could write endlessly, have bestowed on me blessings untold and, ironically, had I managed to pull my head out of my ass sooner than I did, would very likely not have been born.

A young friend in Mexico, tragically killed last year in an auto accident, honored me beyond words when he asked me to be padrino for his daughter.

Two good friends, one for nearly 40 years and the other for nearly 20, know me well and love me anyway.

The boss who fired me the first time and the four others who have done so since kept the ball rolling when I might otherwise have chosen to stay stuck.

There are many others, making up a crazy-quilt of going on 60 years, and a few deserve quick mention – a stern and compassionate high school Latin teacher, my deeply humane First Sergeant in Vietnam, a social worker and a probation officer both of whom thought I was worth saving, and numerous young and some older friends who, despite all, see right through me to the love inside and always give as good as they get.

An odd sort of acknowledgement must be paid to my genes. Three blood-line individuals, my father and my mother’s two brothers, even though they were infrequent and shadowy presences in my early life, are nonetheless major contributors to my mental and emotional landscape. They raise the always hotly debated issue of nature vs. nurture.

I’ve saved the biggest acknowledgement for last because it’s the hardest to convey.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I have been looked after in this life by someone or something, guardian angel, higher power, spirit guide, call it what you will. This realization has steadily grown as I’ve tapped into the enormous gratitude I feel for all the events which shaped my life and that only now do I dare call miraculous as opposed to merely fortuitous. On those too infrequent occasions when I actually remember to be grateful and can still my blithering, ever-present internal chatter, I have connected with something far larger, far greater, far wiser, and (I’m struggling for words here), immensely more vast than I can adequately describe. I’ve heard the term “oceanic” used in a way that might capture a bit of what I’m trying to say but even that fails when attempting to convey the experience of literally dropping to my knees, sobbing with joy. Never did I dream that such unrestrained happiness, however brief, could appear in my life. As the movie title suggests, I thought that “As Good As It Gets” meant ceaseless plodding, endless suffering, devouring myself from the inside with worry and fear, and rejecting the fleeting glimpse of a better tomorrow as a cruel tease. And, even though I now know how wrong I have been, I still fall prey almost daily to the dark and foreboding suspicion that the ground will gape open beneath my feet and drop me finally and forever into the pit of despair. And so I offer this pitiful recognition to the overarching entity of unconditional love, whoever or whatever you are. You have never left my side even as I continue to whine and cry every step of the way.

2 Comments:

At 7:10 PM, Blogger callieischatty said...

I mean who are you anyhow? This is really a great blog, I must say, your a brilliant person.
Can I ask you some questions?
What happened to your wife?
That story sounds SO sad!
What do you do for a living?
Where do you live?

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger Heidi said...

In awe of this post. Thanks for sharing! You are one helluva writer!

 

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