Stuart had a notion last summer and brought it up at Red as we dined with the guys. “Let’s go around the table,” he proposed, “And everybody tell something which, as long as we’ve known each other, we never shared about ourselves…you know: something nobody knows.”

His idea died.

“I didn’t come here to be psychoanalyzed,” one remarked; no others pushed back. Pure nonsense then ensued, of course. With fluff and friendship we were right in our wheelhouse.

Still, it would have been nice…

I’ve said it before: when my Dad died there were no stories untold between us nor were there feelings left on mute. Same (for that matter), when my Mom passed. Indeed, through her last rusting years not only did we laugh all the laughs and cry all our tears, but in the most lucid of her moments this product of her times felt compelled yet again to justify her 1963 divorce.

“I loved you boys,” she asserted, “And you should know these things.”

It wasn’t so much that WE needed to know, of course. It was, clearly, that SHE wanted to tell, to share, to complete. She needed to leave nothing left unsaid.

(As my father had with me. As Stu’d suggested with the guys).

And so it was that, driving from Chardon the other day, lyrics from the radio triggered my thoughts. Stuey’s suggestion (I surmised) was an inadvertent yet enlightened head start on what indeed my mother had spent her last five years trying to accomplish. He was trying to achieve completeness — allness, if you will. Stuart yearned, (I sensed), whether he realized it or not, to give our quality friendships an even greater integrity. He wanted to up the game.

Laying in bed next to a snoozing Carrie — it was 10 pm — I found myself revisiting Fenton’s suggestion. Ruminating, some hours after a song in the car had jarred my thoughts, I wondered:

Was this a teachable moment?

Just a few months ago this lifelong friend — someone who for fifty-nine years I’d shared every level of win and loss with — had filled a card to me with comments codifying sentiments we’ve both long shared. This, from a man of few words! With pen in hand he had detailed things one-on-one that he might well have said at Red, (perhaps in a corner).

Was this his way?

That whole thing about sharing the heretofore unshared got to me. Is there more that I want to say to those the points of light in my life? Is there more that I need to say?

I resolved that there was.

This morning I wrote a letter — perhaps the first of many. Hard copy, (not email). 

I shared a smile and a frown, and a feeling or two.

Then I mailed it…

And smiled.

One Response to “WITH PEN IN HAND”

  1. alan wieder says:

    No surprise about Stuart. He was/is always direct and honest in my mind even with the shenanigans which of course were/are always fund even if over the top. Small silly one from a couple years ago — hiding Will’s shoes. Will asked me who took my shoes and I just said they are under the table over there. Of course, if Will would have looked that would have been the only place they could have been. I am rambling but that is you and Stu. But you both also are extremely honest and that is all important.

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