Peeking From Behind the Curtain

“The strong survive, they stay alive,
They always cool,
But that they never teach you in school.

Are you man enough…big and bad enough?
Are you gonna let ’em shoot ya down?
When the evil flies, and your brother cries,
Are you gonna be around?
Someone needs a friend, just around the bend.
Don’t ya think you should be there?
Are you man enough…when the goin’s rough?” – The Four Tops ” Are You Man Enough”

I spent the day at our Fall Convocation. It’s one of those academic “things” that generally empties my brain out onto the floor but yesterday was a bit of a surprise for me. I was in more than a bit of pain from a diagnostic procedure done the day before. The pain kept me from sitting around as I discreetly stood in the back of the auditorium and walked around when my legs and hips couldn’t take sitting in one place. I did discover that I could sit if there was enough padding in a particular chair but movement felt great for me. I tried not to disrupt my colleagues as I paced near the back door. My pain actually kept my brain in my head!

The other surprise for me was the number of people who didn’t recognize me. Yes, I changed my hairstyle, only slightly trimmed but many people kept saying that they couldn’t believe how much I have changed. It is true that I am happy, healthy and generally quite positive but those characteristics have always been there.

In all truth, I am a bit sadder because I miss my wonderful affirming hero’s presence. I am changed by just having met him; the evidence surrounding me yesterday. It was quite heady to hear person after person speak of how positive and beautiful I have become. It isn’t a matter of “become” as I have always been positive but now I am quite content. Trust me, beautiful is not a adjective that would describe me for I am a hopeless Amazon albeit an empathic one.

He was there but we didn’t speak. I totally understand but still I miss him. He’s just such a wonderful human being with his talent, energy and huge personality, the likes of which, I have never encountered. If I tend to praise him too much here, it’s because he is just that amazing, the stuff of novels and movies. If I had created him as a character, he would be unbelievably heroic but he’s real and I didn’t create him. Such affirmation he brings even from a distance and I found myself laughing from the joy as I caught a glimpse or two of him. Yes, he’s just that good. I wish I was good enough for him but alas, this is the stuff of irony.

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