Are there any of us who doesn’t have truly great memories – despite the fog of time obscuring the past?
It’s like when someone’s having a roaring good time on a Saturday night and paying hell for it the next morning with a hazy hangover. Later, when they reflect back, what do you think they’ll remember first? Right, the Saturday night… the good times! But, some people can only remember the hurt that alcohol and/or drugs can’t mask: call it the blues.
“I met a girl who sang the blues /
And I asked her for some happy news /
But she just smiled and turned away”
~ American Pie by Don McLean
You’d think – since we’re older every day – with age comes wisdom. Sadly, this isn’t always true. Yet, we can often learn from each other’s experiences. So, let me be the bad example: I learn the hard way.
I remember a girl whose feelings I had hurt deeply. It wasn’t intentional; but, neither was I paying attention. Our friends tried to intervene; but, I thought enough of my sarcasm to keep it up. Not funny! Very stupid!
She almost broke off our engagement; but, I begged her to forgive me. Yes, that night, I almost lost my future wife; the mother to our children; the grandmother to their children; and, the loss of sharing life with my soulmate … and for what? The morning after, I remember feeling that I’d dodged a bullet. I had! I also learned something about respect; or, the lack of it.
Did I learn my lesson? You’d have to ask her. With others, sometimes not; although, I do bite my tongue a lot more: As they say, “I’m ‘slow to learn and quick to forget.”
But, I don’t need to look too far within my wife’s eyes to know what’s real.
“When I find myself in times of trouble /
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom…”
~ Let It Be by The Beatles
My solution? If what I’m doing doesn’t measure up to who I want to be, I drop it. Generally, I take time to think things through; before, I didn’t. You know, it’s easy playing the ‘my-way-or-the-highway’, stubborn-old-man, game. The problem arises when others become just as stubborn. What then?
People believe whatever they like; it’s their right. Just like it’s my right to walk away. People aren’t always on the same page. Sometimes, compromise works. We are who we are: warts and all. As Leonard Cohen said, “There’s a crack in everything.”
Still, “blessed are the peacemakers” – if you care to walk down that road. I’ve tried and failed… often. But then, there’s times when the effort was all worth it. Sometimes I get it right.
“No, I would not give you false hope / On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion / Is only a motion away”
~ Mother and Child Reunion by Paul Simon
Yup, sometimes life feels like a Saturday night… and look ma, no hangover!
Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His newspaper column, Music in Me, can be found in ‘The New Hamburg Independent’ Metroland Media. His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is Available from Amazon and Indigo / Chapters.
Blog / Website: www.fredparry.ca