I was raised Catholic by a very Catholic woman - Italian Catholic. I’ve wandered over the years away from the habit of mass and the like, but the one habit that has stayed with me it lighting candles. My Mom battled breast cancer twice, the first time at 50, the second at 65. When I learned of her diagnoses the first time I was living in NYC and walking to work. I always passed a Catholic church and that morning I stopped in and sat in a pew for awhile. On my way out I stopped and lit a candle. Somehow seeing that little flame in the darkened church seemed hopeful. It wasn’t much but I felt like that little bit of light helped.
I found out that Mom was in remission while I was traveling abroad, and that afternoon when we stopped in to visit a church, I lit a candle of thanks. It’s a habit that I’ve continued many, many, times in many, many, countries over the years. My mom lost her second battle with cancer in 2010, at age 74. Now, whenever I travel I light a candle of remembrance. This trip I’ve also been lighting one for Julie and for my friend Chris. So, all over Paris, and down through Spain, little flames are burning. Flames of love, and remembrance and hope.
I was on the road most of the day yesterday, trying to get things together for Europe in the morning. While stopped at a stoplight though I saw a teacher walking her elementary school class across the street. And while it was chaotic, and she was hurrying them along, a small boy tugged on her to ask her a question. She took a moment to bend down and chat with to him.
It was a small moment, but something clicked for me.
When I read the initial posts for Julie, I was struck by how many people said, she was the first person to like my posts, she was my first follower, she let me know I wasn’t alone. I don’t know that there are many of us that can say that. I know I can’t.
We’re all bloggers, and we’re all people talking at the same time about our lives (or our passions), and when we hit Create post and throw ourselves out into the ether, we all hope against hope that someone out there will hear us. Will listen to what we have to say. Will respond.
I think that one of Julie’s gifts was that as well as talking, she listened. And she heard. In an increasingly fractured and self-centered world, that’s a tremendous gift. I am thankful for her sharing it with us on Tumblr.
And as I drove by the teacher shepherding her class down the street, I was thinking about Julie and how many lives she touched, including all of the students that were lucky enough to call her teacher.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps by Jake Shimabukuro
If I could play the ukelele, I’d learn to play this for ya. It’s most joyful song I know of with Weeping in the title. :) And Jake plays the hell out of it on the uke. Also Central Park! Enjoy.
Drunken Rajah in a Fez
Well, okay maybe my dog’s not actually drunk, though he looks it. And maybe it’s a Chinese Child’s hat I picked up near Beijing instead of a fez. But still, I saw it on my desktop and thought it might make you smile. It sure made me smile seeing you posting on Tumblr yesterday. Wishing you joy, and peace, and all the love in the world.
Julie, love you, love your strength, your fight, your graciousness and your wicked sense of humor. But mostly the goofy, fabulous love you and your family have for each other. Especially Ben. Glad to see so much Tumblr love on your behalf, but it’s getting a little dreary so I thought I’d lighten things up a bit….I just have to ask…wanna hold my cock? It’s the young, pretty one that today discovered a twin in the mirror and has yet to recover fully. Lots of love and strength.