There ain't no doubt in no ones mind
That love's the finest thing around
Whisper something warm and kind *
Somewhere around 23 years ago, not too long after we’d started dating – I was driving Laura home. As we were about to pull into the complex where she was living with her Mom, whatever radio station we were listening to started playing a set of four James Taylor songs… I recall that we drove around the neighborhood so we could listen… I was already madly in love – and I don’t know too many other artists who make you feel better about where you are and who you’re with than him… She told me that she and her friend Lee always went to see James Taylor when he was in town.
Her birthday was a month or so after that – and James Taylor had booked a concert somewhere around the city. I thought it would be a fun idea to get her tickets to his concert…
Some people find this rather shocking, because I usually strut around as if I own the world – and maybe it’s from living with a chronic, terminal illness – but I’d always had some issues with worthiness and self-confidence, particularly in relationships… Laura and I hadn’t been dating all that long, and I kinda worried if I gave her two tickets to the concert for her birthday – that she might not actually take me… So – to avoid that whole issue, I gave her four tickets for her birthday, figuring that I’d have a much better chance of being with her at the concert!
I really hadn’t been to a lot of concerts in my life – I started working when I was quite young – and going to James Taylor with Laura was actually one of my first “real” concerts… She did invite her friend Lee, and we all had a wonderful time…
On Monday – Laura and I went to see James Taylor and Carole King. This time she bought the tickets – and she didn’t really give me an option of taking anyone else. Not that I would have…
And I feel fine any time she's around me now,
she's around me now,
almost all the time.
And if I'm well you can tell that she's been with me now,
she's been with me now,
quite a long, long time.
Yes and I feel fine. **
It’s different now. Everything is different now. There were more than a few quiet moments at the concert when my eyes were welling up, thinking about all of the years that have past since that first concert. So many of their lyrics are beautiful, and emotional – and make you realize how special life can be… And now, emotions are usually a little more intense than they were before I was given this gift. I didn’t have it on my schedule to be hanging around this planet as long as I have. And I never imagined I’d be here with Laura as long as I have… And the girl who let me stay here – and her smiling face… She is always in my mind…
I apologize because I’ve been slackin’ off for the past few months and I need to get back in the groove… It’s not that I haven’t had a lot to say – the spirit just wasn’t moving me to say it… (I had a sixth grade science teacher who, after I was goofing off much of a semester, told my Mom that I seemed capable, but only when “the spirit moves him…” Mom assured her that the spirit would begin moving him that day…) While I was slackin’ off – I missed telling you about Annie’s adventures at the Rose Parade… And about Tim Joos, who with his beautiful daughter Samantha has doubtless inspired many to register to become donors – has become an altruistic living kidney donor himself!!!
And probably – over the next few weeks – Melissa is going to tell you a few stories about having more than a dozen people with stethoscopes listening to her beautiful heart… She was with seventeen people who remember that beautiful heart while it was being used by its original owner – their friend, Chloe…