Yesterday the thought struck me: “If someone did succeed in knocking me off, would I have any regrets?” And my answer was immediate: “Yes, I would regret not having spent more time with my own family.”

For more than a month now, I have been so wrapped around the axle of events in Memphis, that I have been neglecting the people in this world whom I most love. I have allowed my view of life to become colored by child molesters, dirty cops, and heartless exploiters of other people’s misfortunes while the chalice of my own family’s nurturing love has remained untouched and almost forgotten, even though it has always been within easy reach.

Now that there is finally some breathing space in the Prindle case, that “chalice” caught my eye and I reached for it—well, for the phone actually.

I had placed a couple calls and left a couple voice messages before I heard Elijah’s voice on the line. His mother had told me how much Elijah had grown since I was last there, and I could hear it in his voice. “I’ve gone from alto to treble,” he said of his progression in the children’s choir. His parents were at an art opening and he was left in charge of his siblings. He will be 13 in September. A young man.

About halfway through our call, I realized that this was the first adult conversation we’d had in our long relationship. It was thrilling because it was almost like discovering a new friend. We were conversing as equals.

He told me about school and what he’d been doing on his summer break. I told him about my work and my plans for Estrella Vista. And then about this time his parents returned and I got to speak with Sarah.

It was like water touching parched lips. I told her about how the hit had inspired my resolution to call more often.

“So you’ll be calling everyday?” she asked.

“As often as you can stand,” I answered.



Groove of the Day 

Listen to Marty Robbins performing “Cool Clear Water”


1 Response to “respite”

  1. 1 Renee
    July 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Please tell Stephen Sydebotham he can contact for help with James. I do live in Memphis. Ask him to contact via my email address.

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