When word spread about Indiana’s death I expected (and received) a number of different responses. Most people didn’t know what to say. Others displayed their awkwardness with confusion, “but it’s a cat? Just an animal.” Still others gnawed at human nature. My personal favorite, ‘We’re a sucker for pets.’ Yup, that’s me. Taken for a ride by four-legged furries with feline eyes.
But, the point of this is not to bitch about insensitivity. It’s not to whine about the loss of Indiana. No, the purpose of this is to do the opposite – celebrate the power of words when they wake me up. Especially when they wake me up. Make me feel better.
For the past five weeks I have been counting the tragedies; adding up the sum of all the sadness; making lists of how I hurt; measuring how much pain I’ve endured. My Kisa brought home another equation to consider, “Atlanta. Atlanta, Georgia.” I crumbled and said I couldn’t take anymore. I know nothing of the south. I take that back. I think of heat. I think Prim and Proper. I think oh so far away. No amount of ranting and raving could erase the black and white of the reality. Atlanta. Hotlanta, Georgia. When I had exhausted my pushback here’s what I heard, “No matter what happens we have each other. No matter what is to be decided we will go through it together. We can get through this. We.” And just like that, everything was okay again. As Kisa wrapped his arms around me I realized he was right. We could go anywhere, do anything and, as long as we are together, be happy.
RubyTuesday’s sympathy card brought a new torrent of tears one particular Saturday. But through the tears I saw something emerge – the idea that no matter silly tragedy I had she would be there for me. Through bad haircuts and eighties fashion our friendship has lasted. Through my severe stupidity and selfish silliness we have survived. The years have given her the wisdom to know exactly what to say. Out of all the sympathy cards I received I love hers the most. It’s the one I reach for when I want to be reminded of grace and kindness.
Words. Words are just that. Only words. Sometimes I am at a loss for them. Other times I say too much and the crowding of words gets me in trouble. But, said at the right time, and in the right way words make all the difference.