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Friday, February 25, 2011

Knots of Guilt

There is plenty of guilt in my family to go around. So many sons grew up without a father, generation after generation. The women were variable and few compared to the men, it's always been a ratio of 3:1 at least, all around me. All different people, those few women, from strong and stubborn as hell to institutionalized and crumbled. I believe now that everyone did their level best. But sometimes your best sucks. Some people live their whole lives at the level of their best still sucking. And so there's always plenty of guilt.

This, I've found in times of expecting death, is the overriding thing: Guilt. Sometimes mixed with regrets. And the range of expression of guilt or regret goes all over the damn place like a nest of roaches exposed to the light.

Life is so damned short. And you always think there's more time. Always. Whoever can get a grip on that, please let me know. Above my head hangs a photo of my 2 living brothers, my late mother and stepfather and me, 40 years ago at their wedding. I still remember looking at the camera in that shot. My wedding party shot shows the 4 of us looking very St Elmo's Fire in 1987, and I'm the only one still alive from that shot. It seems like a couple months ago. That's how short life is.

So be kinder to each other. It eases the inevitable guilt, too. Aside from just being the right thing to do.

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