Southern Scotch

Southern Scotch
After the Fall 2016

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Meet the Real Reb MacRath: Part 3

This isn't the post I'd intended: a playful little shockeroo I thought I might have to pull the next day.

I learned one of my sisters had died yesterday and 'intimations of mortality' suddenly struck on home ground. Both my parents had died. I'd lost uncles and aunts, grandparents, cousins, teachers, favorite actors and writers....But death had never touched one of my brothers or sisters. And even though some of us had grown estranged, we could still whistle in the dark with some security, believing our circle of six remained charmed.

The circle has been broken now. And now I see that I was blind in my belief that it was charmed.

My sister's name was Cher. And she had a remarkable life: falling from the heights of an almost Gatsby-like existence (summer and winter homes, golf and dinner with the poobahs)...to a long and painful crash...to a courageous rebirth. The banker's wife remarried and joined an even higher class--of caretakers. As she'd been cared for when she fell, she looked after the old and infirm. She loved her new work and was said to excel.

Now, demons love to play with us. And there may have been mornings when her heart ached with remembrance of all she had lost. But let me tell you what I know. If ever the demons did whisper, she would have remembered the people she helped, the family and friends she'd been blessed with. And she would have answered the whispers with this:

A high sun shines upon this day and I will not betray it. I'll give thanks for the work I've been privileged to do and thanks for the love I'm still able to give.

I loved her. I miss her. And I'm torn in two because just before I got the news I'd been heading to buy, write and send her a card, getting in touch after nearly six years. It's too late now. But it isn't too late to say the words she must have said...the lovely blonde who crashed and rose:

A high sun shines upon this day and I will not betray it.

Reporting for duty: the Real Reb MacRath...in the front lines with you all...taking bigger baby steps toward infusing my soul with a bit more largesse.

9 comments:

  1. How sad, Reb. My thoughts are with you.

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  2. So are mine, Reb. Over the past seven years, my wife, a cousin and four good friends of many years have died. Though the level of grief has been in relation to the closeness of the relationship, there's no doubt that it always has a sharp tooth. I know how you feel. But it will pass in the end because Cher sounds as thought she was a great person. People like her continue to inspire us even when they are gone.

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  3. I echo Chris. Over the last seven years I've lost my wife, a cousin and four good friends of many years. The level of grief has been in relation to the closeness of the relationship but even when mild, bereavement has a sharp tooth. Cher sounds like a remarkable person. Such people inspire us and that's their legacy. Grief will pass, Reb, believe me.

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  4. Thanks for the consoling words, Dennis, and for sharing your own losses. The grief will pass in time, I know, but her memory will grow stronger.

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  5. I lost three very close relatives in the space of three years: two to murder and one to natural causes. I know exactly how you feel. You think you have all the time in the world, then you just... don't. They are here and then they are just... gone. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved sister. You really honored her. The words you didn't get to say to her in life have undoubtedly reached her after her departure. I hope the pain and sorrow you feel in your heart is eased by the love and affection of your friends and family.

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  6. I'm sorry for your losses too, Felicia. Everything else in our lives really does acquire a painfully clearer perspective. Thank you.

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  7. I'm just so astonished that you pulled those words together, Reb. In your shoes I'd be numb and silent, but you show the measure of the writer you are by presenting a tribute that plainly comes from 'the real Reb MacGrath'. A good way to honour the passing of someone you love. I'm sorry, Reb. Families, hey?

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  8. Thanks for the lovely comment, Pauline. I'm in Myrtle Beach now for the funeral tomorrow. And I'll carry your comment with me.

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