Talk About This at My Funeral

I stood on the side of my son’s baseball field yesterday and cried under my sunglasses.

I cried because it was sunny and the breeze felt good and the air was ringing with the sounds of kids laughing and playing.

Their legs work and their lungs work and they may not know yet of all the bad things in the world, but they will some day. There is no way to avoid the knowing of bad. Even if one were to die at a young age, that in itself is bad. There, with your last breath, you’ll feel it. The unfairness that exists. The sharp sting of cutting cruelty.

I cried because it’s summer and the warmth feels so good on my skin and I get to see my kids all day long, every day.

I cried because of the overwhelming happiness I felt in that moment. The unrelenting luck I’ve enjoyed in my life so far.

I cried because I know that all luck runs out.

I cried because I don’t know what I’m doing right or wrong to make it continue. I don’t know what it is that has brought me this luck and what misstep will make it disappear.

I cried because I want to live in that moment forever. I want an endless summer. An endless supply of innocent laughter. I cried because I know it isn’t possible and probably wouldn’t be as valued if it were.

I cried because I know it will end, but I don’t know how.

Not just that moment, but all of it. Which summer will be my last? Which peal of laughter will be the last to ring against my ear? Will my last lungful burn with wanting to breathe in one last scent of grass?

Who will remember how much it meant to me? How I wanted it all to go on for always.

How I stood at the edge of a baseball field and cried for the beauty of it and the luck that brought it to me and me to it.

I portrayed Emily in Our Town in a high school play. The entire end monologue stuck with me over the years. It’s tattooed on my heart. But the one line I remember most is this:

“I can’t look at everything hard enough.”

That’s what I did yesterday on the side of a baseball field. I cried because I can’t look at it all hard enough.

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