Tag Archive | Mercy


Mercy. So this is 57. Or in my method of measuring, this is nine years older than Daddy ever got to be.

So I’m happy to be 57. Doesn’t feel that different from 17 or 47 in my mind. My body might beg to differ on certain days, but I’ll take it.

Friday was the big day, but my birthday has been of the extended variety this year. John had to leave Tuesday to help with his mom, so he started giving me gifts a week early. His absence was definitely noted, but family and friends took up the celebratory slack.

Thursday Liz, Jude and Sylvie brought me cupcakes, cards and the new Avett Brothers CD. I may be an oldie, but my musical tastes run wide, and those darling boys put out a  The Carpenter just in time for my birthday. 

(Dave Matthews Band obliged my 57th with Away From the World, and Ben picked it up, along with a bonus copy of the Avett Brothers.

On Friday, the real day, Mother, Julia, Anita, Rhonda and I went to the Clinton School (the gift that keeps on giving, lecturewise) to see Fran Drescher, who was engaging, informative and entertaining as she talked about her fight with uterine cancer – as well as with the medical community that kept misdiagnosing her – and her organization, Cancer Schmancer (cancerschmancer.org – you owe it to yourself to check it out). 

Then we all went to a lovely late lunch. That evening, baby sister (Cathy, who will always be 3 years and 4 months younger than me, no matter how old we get), Julia and I went to Market Street to see Robot & Frank, which is interesting, quirky, slightly funny and slightly sad.

For the record, I almost titled this post “Ants Marching,” which is still one of my favorite DMB songs, because time marches on for all us ants and I love the lyrics. (This acoustic version should let you understand them, plus it’s pretty cool.)

But “Mercy” seems to address it all – the surprise at being this old, the happiness that is my life most days, and the feeling of luck at getting here at all.

So, this is what 57 looks like, only backward, of course, courtesy of my trusty MacBook. I normally dodge photos, but what the heck. I’m a golden oldie.

Love can make you happy

Ok, so really only YOU can make you happy, but it is a nice sentiment for Valentine’s Day. And love definitely can make your life happier – be it romantic love or love of your kids and grandkids, friends, students or life in general.

An open heart is a happy heart. Sometimes that’s hard to remember and it does make you vulnerable, but that’s the only way to live, if you ask me. The Beatles are right: The love you take really does depend on the love you make.

I had Mercy’s uber-cheesy one-hit-wonder on 45 in junior high, and Pam and I and sometimes Linda used to bellow it at the top of our lungs along with the record. We were true believers in the power of love back then.

The power of music goes a long way too, for some of us. Pam and I used to discuss which sense we’d give up if we had to choose between vision or sight. (Remember that, Pam?) For me it was always vision because I can remember what I’ve seen, but I can’t do without music.

Or the voices of loved ones.

Last night I heard precious John’s “good night” right before we went to sleep and my grandparent’s voices in my dream. They’ve been gone for years and died relatively young, but in my dream, my sister, Cathy, and I had found them, still alive and very old and very happy – our dad’s parents, who in reality were never very happy when we knew them.

Their voices were clear as bells in my dream-memory, though they’re fuzzy when I’m awake. It was a surprise and a nice dream for the day of love.

I’ve been lucky in love, despite a hellaciously long unhappy marriage. Now I have a sweet husband whom I love, the Pop to my Lolly, who makes me laugh more than he makes me mad. He loves me madly. Can’t ask for much more.

My children are great and my grandkids precious.

Mother and Bill are alive and kicking. One of the previous loves of my life died last year but he lives in my heart. The other one is alive and well and happy, and that makes me smile – and he owns a piece of my heart, too.

That’s the power of love – it makes your heart grow to accommodate everyone who claims a piece.

Another precious love song for Valentine’s Day is one that used to make Liz and me cry every time we listened to it – and that can still bring a tear to my eye, even if I know you can’t really live on love.

But it sure is better to live with love. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Love in bloom. It’ll be 10 years this summer since it was basically cautious love at first sight.