I just wanted to thank you for sitting with me today.  You have kept the lines open, but I never used them like I should.  I said sorry.  I said thank you.  But that didn’t say anything.  Actions speak louder than words, and I didn’t even make an attempt to use words to speak…I used actions.  Unfortunately, those actions spoke.  They spoke to you.  I have no more actions. I can’t make it right. All I have are words.  And so, thank you for sitting with me today.  Thank you for listening.  This works out in the end, since you’re here listening…and since I’m here trying to speak.

I’m glad that you aren’t like those people who take the Bible literally.  I’m glad that you didn’t take my actions literally.  You took my actions and you learned from them in the best way.  You saw what happened when I left.  You saw everything crumble.  You saw everything happen.  You saw everything I didn’t.  You saw everything I never will. You saw how much pain someone can cause just by not being there.  Funny, isn’t it?  We try to work things out, and I thought that if I left, I would stop trying to work things out…and things would just work themselves out.

I’m sorry I told you first.   I’m sorry you had to hold it in you.  I’m sorry that you trusted me and that I left when you weren’t there to leave.  I hope you know that leaving effects everyone—even the people that you aren’t leaving.  It just effects everyone.

I’m glad that you learned how to deal with people in pain.  I’m glad you learned that listening is important.  I’m glad about that, especially because you were always the talker.  You could talk anybody’s head off.  I remember on those long drives, you would talk me to sleep almost, which is funny, because you were talking to try and keep me awake.  You didn’t want me to fall asleep.  Because if I fell asleep, I would drive off the road.  I would crash.  And I could lose everything.  But you kept me awake.  You kept me there in the driver’s seat.

Too bad I crashed anyway.  Too bad everything is ruined and wrecked.  Why didn’t you talk more?  Why didn’t you speak up?

I’m glad though.  Because now you know that some pieces don’t get to be put back.  That’s an important lesson in life.  You learn that things aren’t always perfect.  You learn that when things are perfect, they only last so long, and so you realize to appreciate the temporariness of things.  You learn that broken pieces are sharp and hurtful, but they come out of something beautiful, and that they can be beautiful on there own in the same way that wings that have been torn off can be beautiful.  Once those wings flew, once those wings flapped free.  Now they just tell stories of what once was.  And stories are nice, aren’t they?

I’m glad that you know what it’s like to be in a room where people want to kill themselves.  It’s an important part of life.  It’s important to be in that situation.  By talking them into staying alive, you, too, learn why staying alive is important.  Even if you aren’t at your lowest, by trying to pull someone up from their lowest, you learn about what makes you happy and what brings purpose…and then, if you’re lucky, and I think you were very lucky.  I think that you learn that what makes you happy and what brings purpose are no different.  They are the same thing.

Harder said than done.  I chased happiness.  Or maybe I left sadness.  Or maybe I just gave up.  But you see now how you are.  You see now how everyone is.  Finally, you see how I am.  You know wrong from right… don’t you?  Won’t you?

I’m glad you’ve learned so much.  I’m glad that you’ve stopped cutting yourself trying to put the pieces back together.  I’m glad that you just let them lie there.  You don’t forget them though—if you did— you would step on those pieces and cut your feet.  You remember them.  You remember their exact spot on your floor, and you walk carefully around them when you must.  You’ve learned how to deal with the pieces.  Don’t they look pretty?  Careful.  Don’t touch. And watch your step

I’m glad that you’ve learned that I’m like you.  I’m glad that you’ve hated yourself.  I’m glad that you hated yourself so much that it made you sick.  And I’m glad that you accepted that, and I’m glad that you realize that a little bit of bad, although it doesn’t make sense, can make some good.

You saw when I shut the door.  You saw when I turned away. You saw when she cried.  You saw when I drove away.  You saw when I came back.  You saw her when I came back.

Who would have thought that not listening looks like something.  You can see when words enter ears or when they don’t.  I never listen.  Why did that make you so upset?  I still don’t understand that.  You always knew that I never listened.  That’s just how I am.  I never understood why that made you upset.  You should have known better.

I’m glad that you hate yourself for laughing with me.  How could you not laugh with me?  Didn’t it look so funny to see her words bounce right off me?  Wasn’t it funny to see how easily my words went right into her?  Every word she shot out toward me, bounced off softly and floated away like bubbles at a picnic.  Every word I whispered made her shake.  She was so angry that she didn’t know what to do.  How we laughed together.

Aren’t you glad you’re like me?  Aren’t you happy about yourself?

I’m glad you’ve learned from me.  I’m glad you like to laugh at words when they bounce off of things.  Bubbles are funny.  Bubbles are harmless and empty.  They’re nothing.  After a while, they just pop.  If you’re lucky, you can find someone to pop bubbles with. Then you both will be laughing.

Hey. Well, if you think they’re so important—Hey, why are you getting upset? Well, if you think they’re so important, then fine. Fine! Hey! Listen.  Why?  Don’t do that.  I said don’t.  You’re not listening.  Hey.  Why are? Why are my words turning into bubbles?  Why are they floating away from you?  They’re popping!  They’re popping.  You’ll never know what those words were. Hey! You! Listen! Why… Why are you laughing?

"Hero" by Family of the Year

Outside and Beyond