Fire And Rain

Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
I just can’t remember who to send it to.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus, You’ve got to help me make a stand.
You’ve just got to see me through another day.
My body’s aching and my time is at hand and I won’t make it any other way.
Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.

Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun.
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around.
Well, there’s hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come.
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
but I always thought that I’d see you baby, one more time again, now.

Thought I’d see you one more time again.
There’s just a few things coming my way this time around, now.
Thought I’d see you, thought I’d see you, fire and rain, now.

Fire And Rain – James Taylor

It’s been one year since a very special person left this earth, one year since the skies of my life grew a little bit darker. As this day approached my heart ached more and more with the remembrance of how she died alone in a hotel room with no one but her faithful dog beside her, how much I hope she found the comfort she so deserved in those final moments.

The tears stream down my face as I think of her lifeless body laying on the floor for two days before she was discovered, Stewie her dog still protecting her as the Sheriff tried to enter the room. Even though we were never romantically involved, I loved her in my own way as a true friend. She was so kind and forgiving, supportive and encouraging. All the best qualities most of us lack and can only dream of mastering she produced without hesitation or effort. I still remember how she embodied the best of what humans should be but rarely are, and I struggle to emulate the best of her.

If she were still here I would not have spent this Christmas alone. I’m sure we would have gone to dinner somewhere, had a drink or two and discussed all the things that we had a shared interest in. She had her land here in Maine that she was working on as her peaceful retreat, a place free from the pressures of society and all it’s sordid inequities. A place where Stewie ran free, swam in the river and chased the rabbits. A place where Linda felt at home, and I was going to help her build as if it were my own.

She in turn had a deep interest in my plans to live on a sailboat, plans that have since been crushed under the weight of reality. I know she would have been as depressed as I about the abandonment of that dream, and I know she would have been there for me as I pared back my goals. And still she would have helped me look at the bright side of every defeat, grasp all that is simple and pure and make the best of every situation. She never gave up her dream even as her health stepped in and pushed back on her timetable, she never let go of what made up her vision of a fulfilled life.

I will draw strength from her example and never let go of my simple dream. Every setback that befalls me, every roadblock that hinders my pace, I will think of Linda. Whenever I hide in my truck, curtains blocking out the world of distrust and bitterness that tries it’s best to push down my inner drive to succeed, I will remember Linda. I will remember how she would lift my spirits and soothe my soul, how she could cast aside all thoughts of failure and focus on what was sacred and pure in this world.

How the little things really did matter more than anything else. How the simple beauty of a sunrise could set the standered by which the rest of the day would be judged, the temperance to place more value on the blessings each day brings if you cast aside the uncontrollable difficulties life can throw at you. We have all seen our share of fire and rain, felt the sting of defeat and despair. Moments of complete weakness in the face of challenges we thought we could not overcome. Yet Linda set the example to follow, shed light on the road to success.

And yet here I am, still trying to find that inner peace that is so elusive. Refocusing my dreams to match what the realities of life are, adapting the vision based on the hand I have been dealt. Linda understood what it takes to keep ones head above water and make the best of every situation. In my quest to never forget all she embodied, learn from someone who had so many lessons to impart, I will strive to be an example she would approve of.

Someone that exemplifies all that she held forth as what it means to be a good person in this world of strife. Giving for the sake of giving, not someone looking for the limelight of acceptance in the world of self serving individuals hoping to make a name for oneself. When you give freely you gain more than you may know. When you help others through your deeds you touch their lives in a way that carries them for the rest of their existence on this earth just as Linda did to me. I will never forget her and all she did to improve my life.

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