I owe this song to my friends
Some years ago I found a song by Tom Paxton that captured perfectly in its melody and its lyrics how I felt about a gal that walked out of my life. The breakup was full of every emotion to ever be associated with a heart-ache. The days that immediately followed were the worst. They were full of moments where I would realize that she was gone and I would panic. It was a physical experience that began in the pit of my stomach and moved up to my chest to suffocate me. I kept having imaginary conversations with her where I sued for her to not leave. In others I was angry, but mostly I was sad. I don’t remember how I found this song, but it became healing for me in a way that prayer or meditation never did. It’s a good song (take some time to listen to it).
The last thing on my mind
I am yet to listen to another song that so simply and profoundly expresses the sense of impending loss, the realization of one’s own foolish failures, and the quiet desperation of hoping that it’s not completely over. It still heals me when I listen to it.
To my wife
Not long ago, I was forced to take inventory of my life and the many ways in which I have hurt those closest to me (especially my wife). Since, this song has become important to me again because it keeps me mindful of the selfish jerk inside of me eager to creep out. So, I owe it to her to listen to this song often. Especially, because one day in May seventeen years ago, she was the gal that walked away. I am grateful to have her.
To my friends
I had a thought yesterday while I was working on the yard and listening to this song again. I realized that I also owe this song to my friends because I have hurt them too. I’ve always thought of myself as a good and kind friend. But the truth is that throughout my life I have lied and manipulated friendships to my benefit. I am lucky to still have a handful of relationships in that category. To those who no longer are, I wish that I could say to you “I am sorry,” but I can’t. To the few friends that I still have, “thank you.” I am trying to be
a different a better friend to you.
…will there be not a trace left behind. Well, I could have loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind. You know that was the last thing on my mind…”