last week we watched the green mile. it’s the only king book i ever read, and though the movie was good, the book is better – as always. (btw, can i quote the husband here? he said a while back, “you know i heard that the book is always better but i never believed it – until i started reading books.” it was the funniest thing i’d heard in a year). i read the book while on vacation sometime in college and i’m really surprised that i missed the christological parallels drawn, how a man gave life back to another but in exchange, took on his / her illness. and was sentenced to the death penalty. how did that not scream parallelism? proof in point that i’m smarter than a college student. or at least the college version of me.
then i went to bed but read a chapter of Lamott’s book that i’ve been working through. ironically, the chapter was on her experiences teaching / speaking at a nearby prison. she speaks a lot of how the church should be reaching to this specific group of “least of these”s.
this was the same day that my mom told me that my sister was coming home today. she made the trip because a friend of ours got released from prison after 7 years.
ok, God, i get it that there’s a message in there. i’ve held off on this post for a week because i was hoping to resolve what this message was. however, in this particular situation, sky writing may be a bit more effective.
i use the term “friend” about T very loosely. mostly because i’ve been a very bad friend the past 7 years. my sister and my dad both made trips to see her, and my sister assured me that she is very forgiving for people who haven’t made the efforts. “she realizes that life goes on” she said.
which just makes me feel more guilty. because i didn’t just forget about her. it wasn’t lost in my memory. i’ve thought about her more often than any other person i went to school with. i prayed, i cried, she even showed up in a dream or two. i wrote a letter once. i was relieved when i got the address wrong and i used it as an excuse to not reach out again.
the worst part is that i have no idea why i’ve felt this way. and i hate (yes, hate’s a strong word) that i was one of those people who just did nothing. really – does feeling strongly but doing nothing even really count? i’ve told the kids a thousand times that love isn’t a feeling, it’s something you do, it’s something you choose. i may feel for her, but i chose and did nothing.
i think some of it is because i’m a fixer and in this situation there was nothing to fix. i’d end up being the stereotypical “here, read this book, i think you’ll find it inspiring” type of friend. it’s not who i want to be, but that’s who i would’ve been. i’d offer canned advice. that’s not what’s needed. what is needed is real love. and that’s a scary thing to offer.
fortunately, this is a happy day for her and she’s had several people stand by her through the years. opportunity is on the horizon. she’s had quite a story of a life up to this point, but she gets to write the next chapter, starting today. so once again, i need to stop thinking about myself and just celebrate with and for her.