Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit #3

It's J.P., with more "Wisdom from the Porcelain Pulpit".

I was reading a book (and minding my own business … ) called "Living it Up" by George Burns, when a chapter hit me between the eyes. I wanted to share with you the impact it left upon me.

The book was published in 1976. The copy I'm reading is in a compilation entitled "The Most of George Burns" (published in 1991 by Galahad Books - a division of LDAP, Inc. - ISBN: 0-88365-782-1). This is not the first George Burns book I've read, so I was used to hearing his voice in my head as I read. His humor rang loud and clear through his writing so absolute that you couldn't help but hear him. And the same is true with the chapter of "Living it Up" that hit me so hard: "No More Applause".

The first sentence: "On August 27, 1964, Gracie passed away."

Gracie Allen was not only George's partner on stage, but his life off it. George passed away in 1996. That's 32 years after she died - and he never remarried. Gracie was George's inspiration, his joy, and his soul mate. He talks in the chapter of the last few months together, her passing, and how he "coped". I was crying when I finished reading it. I wanted to read it out loud to my wife, one more time, before sitting down to write this, but I couldn't make it passed the first sentence. Who am I kidding? I didn't make it through the first sentence at all. Lisa read it to me - since it would be "fresh" for her. And I cried even more the second time through.

Why did I cry? What was it about their story that struck me so? I never met them. I only know OF them. I've seen some of their work. But I've never known them. So, why did I cry? I think it was that I connected with George on his love for his wife - with the love I have for mine.

George talked about going on after Gracie was gone. I've wondered what life would be like without Lisa - and I have difficulty imagining it. I can't imagine each day, trying to live beyond the eventual routine, without her. I've even hoped that I would go first - so I wouldn't have to deal with the loss. (Lisa has such a stronger character than I, that I figured she would make it fine without me.)

George said that after a time that he stopped crying on his visits to Gracie. He said that he discovered "that there are just so many tears one can cry and that crying is not going to change a thing."

Maybe so. But for now, when I think of life without Lisa, the tears DO make me feel better.

© Emittravel 2013

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