We walked in, with common purpose and intent, and sat across from each other in the ER waiting room for just a minute, maybe not even that long, before I asked Catfish if he wanted a cup of coffee.
As I suspected, he did in fact desire such a thing. I left to go find us some, somewhere on the lower level of the hospital. When I came back, he had already been permitted back to Rarechild's room. When I inquired at the reception desk, two simple black coffees hot in hand, the nurses directed me back as well, with curious smiles.
Alls I know is, I have never seen such a deliriously happy woman in the emergency room.
But what I want to say is this:
I have spent my life looking up to those male role models who were solid, intelligent, strong, loyal, generous, and kind. There have been many. But never in my life have I ever felt like so much a Man as sitting across from Catfish, for one brief minute, shamelessly and silently sharing honestly with him the solidarity of loving the same Woman. It is one thing to for a son to worry with his mother about his father, her husband; supportive, but the love is held differently. It was quite another thing altogether, ladies and gentlemen, to know fully and openly that the worry furrowed in another Man's brow was wrinkled out of the same character of love, intimacy, passion, admiration, respect, commitment, and loyalty as my own. I have never know such sharing, with or without words.
Catfish, dammit, I love ya. We both know the score: We must do the rebuilding of ourselves with our own two hands, time and again. But I will be here on the ground, waiting patiently, and generously handing you your own bricks to lay down again. Just like you have done for me, just like you ARE doing for me, just like you will do for me again and again.
I don't know much, but I know that.
You are my family, and I am in awe of you at every turn, at every evolution of yourself.
So, I offer you this:
All the Labor
(The Gourds, "Dem's Good Beeble")
All the labor landed in the sod
where the digger cried "it's my calling, sir
and it is no mistake
that I put you in the ground so well
and if they pay me well that's great
it's just gravy, I'd do it anyway"
All the labor stood up and shouted
"I'll wait for you fun lovin' Minever Cheevy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniver_Cheevy
with all yer drunken delusions
I am a sensational place
of camaraderie and pleasure
won't you stand with me
in your garden once more"
All the labor although it be brick on brick
stitch on stitch and earn to urn
a presence on the lift
what this great ole nation was built on boy
outlives the package everyday mama mama everyday