Mardi Gras and Tears
“Mardi Gras, baby. Mardi Gras. Time when all manner
of weird shit cuts loose and parties down.”
— Sherrilyn Kenyon
I’m back in the little southern town because of a very close friend who is dying from cancer. I normally go visit my grandmother’s grave while here but I just can’t bring myself to do it right now. My wife and son are getting ready to watch the small town Mardi Gras parade that is in every way a family parade. No uncovered boobies here. All I can do is cry because I want to be at the hospital with my friend and to keep my promise that I would be there until the end. I sit in the car with my phobias, music and the most dangerous place I’ve been told I can be….in my head.
Marsh Gras parades of any kind are a very big tradition in the Deep South obviously stemming from New Orleans, LA. I try to enjoy something, even just writing this and my mind and body are in turmoil. What my head has known for a couple of days, my heart began accepting the reality of the situation yesterday. I grieve so hard for this precious being that has been in my life 14 years. She blessed me to the point beyond words. She was my rock.
I have witnessed her help just some fried drug addicts like me with such compassion most people wouldn’t understand. My heart is just breaking. I totally understand that things happen when we get older and the circle of life continues. But, this woman, Sarah Pardue, is one rare jewel. Mel and Marshall are getting ready to watch the parade. And I’m wondering now, did we both say everything we wanted and needed to each other. Or was it just understood.
The other night when we arrived from our long travels from Albuquerque, NM to Hattiesburg, MS, I walked into her room and said, “Damn, someone has to really be loved for me to come back here. We giggled a little and gave her a hug that had every ounce of love I could muster in it. I told her, “Mom, I love you. How are you feeling right now?” Her natural therapist/motherly side came out and said, “sounds like to me that someone needs to take care Of themselves.” She knew what shape I would be in mentally seeing her and by now knowing the prognosis that I had personally feared but didn’t know.
I’ve tried to be a ‘rock’ for many. But she told me a long time ago….”even rocks have tears.” And dammit if she wasn’t right again! Her body is there. But, “mom” isn’t. The one who I always saw as invincible had instantly become a mortal.
She has been my ‘rock’ for a long time. Now, I just feel lost.