Monday, May 24, 2010

When Words Fail...Again

I posted this last May 24th - on the 2nd anniversary of the death of Bobby McAlister.  Today - it has been 3 years since his unexpected and sudden departure from this Earth.  I still have no good words...

I'm a word person. I like to read them, write them, fit them into tiny boxes in a crossword puzzle, create them out of wooden tiles on a game board, and turn them into silly rhymes that fit my mood:  

Ode to Long Island Iced Tea  
It's a magnificent day in the end times of May  
And a drink called Tea Is making mush of me  
On this...a magnificent day.

I like to hear words spoken, too. I never, ever miss an opportunity to hold my breath in wonder and deep appreciation at the sound of Maya Angelou's voice, for instance, as she imparts - like no one else can - stirring poetic wisdom.

I like passionate sermons, tender theater, and songs that penetrate more than the ear. A word well formed, intelligently placed, beautifully written or spoken can open almost any door in this life - the door to a heart, or a soul, or a firmly made up mind.

But I sit today on the wondering side of a door I cannot quite pry open with words. It is the door of a grief I won't even let myself really begin to imagine - the death of a child.

It has been two years since Bobby - the creative and spirited son of best friends, and the childhood best friend of my own son - died. In the roar of days immediately following his unexpected leaving, words did not matter much. It was a time for tears, and hand holding, and shared longing for a different reality. All of us felt that.

As we marked one year on this day in 2008, words of consolation still seemed to fit the occasion. It had, after all, been one full year of a new world without Bobby. The road was still treacherous, the journey still packed with unfamiliar sights and sounds.

But, now it has just been another year without Bobby. And what we see clearly here is there will be another, and another, and another. What's there to say? I cannot find a beautiful, comforting phrase today. The best I can do is this: It still sucks.
Bobby McAlister, 1982-2007
It still sucks.