Because all experiences are valuable.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

For Mary V. McGraw Jarvis

Life can be a very mysterious whirlwind. I suppose that is mostly what I talk about here...life.

Mary's son, Joseph (Mac) Archibald asked me at lunch what my blog was about. Oh, Joseph, am I really supposed to have all the answers? Just kidding. If one doesn't know, maybe one should stop writing.

If I had an answer that was the slightest bit real, I would say, it is about what goes on inside my brain. Of course we are all appropriately scared when we realize the infinitesimally small percentage that we are aware of what goes on in others' brains. That was a dreadful sentence, but you get the idea.

I wonder what is going on in Mary's brain every day. Mary is so strong and so worthy of admiration for her fortitude that weak words of mine can't do her justice. I feel like I'm just pumping out platitudes here, but I insist on forging ahead. Maybe the fact is that some things are so inherently true that they do not need the salad dressing of glossy explanation that I usually ladle on...because...
could it be?...because I like hear myself? I am entirely unsure.

More truth is: I don't have any choice. I will hear myself all of my life, both inside and outside my own head. There are no other options. Make peace then with that.

Mary, Mary, dearest Mary. I am sure you are also fucking tired of being strong. But
we all know your soulmate Neal will always be with you. And that is that.

The memorial was lovely. But it didn't do you justice, personally. And that is that, as well. No greater testament to your character could I ever offer than the aplomb and patience and love with which you approach everything in life.

I hope you feel better from the flu very soon. I want to say to you that I wish I had understood in high school, far better than I did, just what a shining light you are. All of the faults on that front (whatever I did not perceive) are entirely mine.

You are greatly loved.


  1. As we struggle to become what we admire, all around us there are people who have been admirable all along, who have pointed the way simply by being, no fanfare, no announcements. They just are.

  2. Oh Tara, I'm really not worthy, but thank you. From the bottom of my really weak, not strong at all heart, thank you. I love you and like you, wish, that I could have appreciated who you and many of my friends were many years ago. But I trying to make up for that now, I hope.