Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Bill

NOTE:  This one is a bit "off topic".  It's definitely "a confession", just one of a different sort.  I've learned that I have to write some things as part of processing through them.

It's happened.  The bill has come due.  Like a direct draft from the depths of my being, it has been taken from me.  No ignoring this invoice.  Late payments are not accepted.  Funds are withdrawn without possibility of negotiation.  Even if it causes overdraft, the charge always clears.

What bill have I paid?   The cost of love and of being loved came due.  Let me explain.

The lady known as "my sister" was brutally mauled by a pit bull terrier that outweighed her by almost 20% (she's tiny).  As tooth and claw rent her skin, my heart was quietly, painlessly mauled as through some unseen "quantum entanglement".  Her pain was immediate.  Mine was yet to come.

Surgeons cleaned and closed her ghastly wounds.  Opiates eased her suffering.  While her pain was being remedied and reduced, mine arrived.  At present, neither of us are "pain free".  Hers will be a long recovery.  Bourbon, tears, and prayer are still working on mine. 

I received a call yesterday from a dear friend in a past life few know I had.  His dad is in the final hours of his earthly journey.  We talked.  We prayed.  Another line item in the invoice.  I pay it with a sense of honor and pride.  He could have reached out to anyone.  Serving him was worth the cost and then some.

My best friend Mark's mother-in-law finished her journey today.   It wasn't unexpected, but another of my dearest is suffering.  They suffer, I suffer.  The total grows higher.

Our church organist's father made the same transition.  Again, not unexpected, but another dear one in distress.  She's a darling woman.  A princess among organists and the queen of my "fan club".  Bassists and organists have been at war for decades.  She doesn't play pedals when I'm on bass.  There is no greater compliment from organist to bassist. 

Social media reminded me that it's the one year anniversary of a benefit "my pickup band" played for a coworker and college friend who finished his battle with cancer late last year.  

Facebook declared that it was my high school friend Teresa's 48th birthday.  She died suddenly a few weeks back from an unknown heart condition.  

These are the line item charges that have been deducted from my meager heart and threadbare soul this week.

They are charges I never saw coming due, yet pay without regret.  This is the bill I've incurred, not through mistake, misdeed, misfortune, or greed.  This is the cost of loving and being loved. 

The expense is not small.  At times it takes me dangerously close to complete insolvency.  Still I pay without regret.  I don't begrudge the universe its due.  Through the pain of the withdrawal there is a joy in the incurrence of the debt. 

I fear "the bill coming due", and I don't.  I fear a life devoid the cost of loving and being loved far more.

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