This is a cynical philosophy, and yet it is based on a truth that we call can learn from life experience. The act of borrowing compromises our integrity because we loan out our reputation and dignity to another person by, first, admitting that we need something enough to promise to return it, thus establishing an attachment to the lender which is potentially unhappy, since there is a good chance, life being what it is, that we will not be able to make good on our promise, thus allowing our reputation and dignity to sink even lower.
Being a lender is the flip side of this situation, but with a twist. A lender is someone who gives, but expects back. He might put a timetable on the return, and he might charge a fee or interest. This inevitably makes the borrower resentful, even if everything is on the up and up. It might be honest on both sides, but the situation itself creates the tension. No matter which side you’re on, the results cannot be good.
We called on the cell phone on our way out of town
Just like we always do, but we caught Bonnie listening
To the nurse say you had pneumonia. They hung up,
And Jackie lost it. Grief set in. Fear set in. Doubt set in.
We talked about what would happen if you died.
What where our responsibilities? The kind of stuff
You never want to think about until it’s too late.
It was a long drive. Not distance, but emotional.
Jackie was miserable. She didn’t know if this was
She started thinking back about the good times;
no more of that. And the horse you had adopted from
the animal shelter, Jackie named him Nugget. Should
we take him, and how? We had already talked about
the aged parrots—they would go with us, too.
We’d need a moving van for all this stuff, but whatever.
Then we got there. You were helpless, drugged out on
Painkiller. Always asleep or on the verge of sleep until
they stopped the drugs. You started talking out of your
Some glimpses of experience, people, but not able to put it all
Together. You could never figure out where you
were. “At the old house”, you’d say, or “the house on Weoka Road”.
Never “hospital” or Baptist East Medical Center.
But each day, with plenty of prayers, in baby steps, you made progress.
With Bonnie, who had never left your side since the accident, never left
The hospital for anything, taking care of every little need of yours. With
Family and friends coming to see you, praying for you, even back in Florida, New York, and California, they were praying.
And the very next day, your mind starts coming back, and you sit in a chair, your first time out of bed. You have gone back and forth with pneumonia, but the staff have been on top of it, doing tests, moving you around, giving you oxygen.
And then you do the unthinkable. You walk down the hall.
You are home now because many others were strong when you could not be strong for yourself. And God was strong for us all.
My friends and family have always said I have a gift: my voice. When I was in elementary school, I sang soprano in the Florida Boy’s Choir. I enjoyed the performances, the dressing up, the beautiful music–I got a good taste.
I went on to other pursuits after that, but my gift called me back again. In 9th grade, I returned, this time to a co-ed chorus. We did a few token latin pieces, but as can be appreciated for young teenagers, our teacher kept us emersed in popular tunes that she knew well like the Beach Boys and the Beatles.
I continued on in high school, where my teacher exposed us to Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and permitted us to create our own choreography. It was interesting.
Then my dad talked to the manager of the Florida Boy’s Choir, who said Florida State University was one of the top schools for music majors. We took a trip up to Tallahassee, and I fell in love with the hills and trees.
I started out trying to get into University Singers while being totally unprepared. They made me sing the National Anthem– I learned my lesson, and stayed away from that group. I sang in the Chamber Choir and the Gospel Choir, having some interesting experiences in both.
From there on out, it was just church choirs, which was my least favorite. And indeed I eventually faded out of there.
Now I just brighten the ears of the person in the pew in front of me. And in that I find very fulfilling and enjoyable. As long as I spent on the stage, I think that it really was not for me.