Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Joshua 1:9

I was still in my pajamas this morning finishing up some chores when Tia called. She was locked out of her truck and could I please pick her up? I said I’d be right there and then laughed. It’s funny how lame we feel asking for help. Help our friends are anxious to provide. I’d do most anything for her—driving a few miles in my pj’s is nothing. There isn’t anything like having friends you can call in a pinch and you don’t get those friends without being one.

Her van happened to be at Les Schwab so we drove there to get another truck key from her key ring. It was nice having a few minutes to talk. It’s been a week or so but it feels longer. As I dropped her back off at the truck she asked if I’d heard. No, no I hadn’t. It’s awful. Just awful. And Michael just mentioned seeing him a few days ago. I meant to ask him to stop by for an estimate. Not that I planned a bathroom remodel very soon. I just knew he was the guy to do it.

Yes, I’m being vague. I don’t want his name Googled by grieving relatives only to find my ignorant ramblings. But it’s just so darned sad.

A couple of years ago we’d finally had enough with carpeting and 70’s vinyl in our kitchen and picked out some new-fangled flooring. Tia’s husband recommended someone and he did an amazing job. No one can find the seam unless we point it out and even then it’s practically invisible. He showed up over the course of several days (we have a good-sized kitchen) and during that time we talked and he told me about his family and that sort of thing. He was an easy going, friendly guy and we were more than happy to have him come back and do other jobs when we were ready. You may notice I’m using the past tense.

He killed himself last week. Couldn’t have been long after Michael saw him.

Here I go, two days in a row, writing about nothing funny. Nothing people probably want to read. But it’s real. And it sucks. All day in my head I keep thinking (because where else would I be thinking) “Who else?”. Who else do I know, friend or casual acquaintance, who’s on the brink?

We all know people who struggle with depression and it can be hard to know what to say or do. What’s helpful. But I guess today I was thinking more about people who don’t show you that side. Maybe they don’t show anyone. But it’s there. A desperation and inability to see beyond whatever that dark cloud is they’re under. But again, they don’t let it show. It breaks my heart to think of how we can be broken. Of how very careful we really should be with each other.

Tonight at Mutual the young men and women stood and recited Joshua 1:9:

“Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

I wish we all knew that.

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