Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Miracle

Hello Everyone--

It's been quite a week, hasn't it? I wish I could say a personal thank you to everyone who has helped out my dear friend Marcie this week, but it's overwhelming, the number of people who have stepped up. Whenever I've had a moment's peace this week, thinking about everything that has happened just blows me away. I feel so very blessed, not only to have met someone like Marcie, but to have an audience comprised of so many good and generous people.

Your generosity has been unbelievable, and it's gone to a great cause. Marcie is getting out of her old place for good this weekend and she and her boys are moving in to their new apartment. The tears have finally dried up, and she's getting a fresh start. I couldn't be happier for her. Just a week ago, she was literally at the end of her rope with absolutely no options, when I decided to brave the weekend crowd and go grab a meal, hoping that she'd be my waitress. When she told me the heart-rendering details of the obstacles placed in front of her, I knew I had to help.

When I my meal was over and my tab was paid, she gave me a hug and I promised her that I'd help her find a way through the labyrinth of problems she was facing. I insisted on giving her a hundred dollar bill and told her that somehow, someway, there was more to come. I think my exact words were Marcie, don't worry. I have a lot of friends all over the country and they're good people. I bet some of them will be willing to help. I can't promise much, but I know that I can pass the hat and raise a few dollars for you. She forced a smile, gave me kiss, and said thank you, and the rest, as you all know, is well-documented history.

I don't know why or how it happened, but I woke up on Sunday morning with a perspective that I'd never had before. Suddenly, the welfare of somebody else was more important than my own piddly concerns. I *know* that I'll always land on my feet--four years in this town has taught me a few tricks--so I started to live for somebody else. Almost everything I've done in the past week has been directly or indirectly related to easing Marcie's burden. I've tried to help her in every way possible, from taking her mind off of things by taking the family to dinner, to spending the day criss-crossing Henderson looking for suitable new accommodations, to helping her run all of her errands. I don't say this to toot my own horn or to try and make you think I'm some sort of model human being, but because all of these things I've done this week have made me feel good.

It's an amazing thing, when you realize that somebody else is more important than yourself--I've never experienced it before. I know her burdens are heavy, and most people would turn their backs, but living for somebody else, even if only for a week, is simply the way we're supposed to live. I get it now, and I hope I never forget it.

As most of you already know, I love Marcie dearly. Not in the googly-eyed syrupy romantic way you'd think, although I told her any guy would be lucky to have her. And I mean that. And I would be very lucky to have her. But I love her because she is a good soul, a friend I can talk to, and she knows me well enough to keep me humble. I love her because she is a good mom to her kids and she's the kind of person we all wish we could be. I love her because she saw something in me from the very beginning, and I wasn't just another dork at the diner trying to hit on her.

As much as I love her and want to be with her (and I know a lot of you folks are pulling for us to be together), the head and the heart have to be in sync for it to work, and even though my heart is full of love and adoration for her, and has been for a long time, my head knows that her heart needs time to heal and any new relationship in the immediate future is doomed to fail. She's only human, and needs time away for herself so that the emotional wounds will heal. Otherwise the next guy lucky enough to be with her may end up paying for the sins of the past and will likely lose the best gal in the world. I don't want to be that guy. Marcie doesn't want me to be that guy.

I'd be willing to wait, of course, because that's what you do when you love someone. But just as the fickle finger of fate brought us together, it will also keep us apart. Marcie needs her family more than ever. Her sister and her mom are the people closest to her, and they are back in California. She needs the emotional support that only a family can provide, and her kids need to be in a stable environment, far from the bad memories and terrible experiences of the recent past.

Although it breaks my heart to hear it, Marcie has decided to go back home to California. It's what's best for her, and even though it fills me with an infinite sadness, deep down, I know it's what she should do. I can respect her decision, because I felt exactly the same way in 2003 when I picked up from 13 years in Arizona and moved back to Tennessee to be with my family. She signed a three-month lease on her new place, is going to wait until the kids get out of school, and then this summer she's going home to stay. Her life is in California, my life is in Las Vegas.

We both know that our paths crossed for a reason, and it seems like it was just in time for her, but probably much too late for me. She tells me that I'm her guardian angel, and I guess angels have to move on once their work is done. I will miss her terribly. I'll miss her wonderful smile, her gorgeous blue eyes, and that grin I get when she first sees me. I'll miss her quirky aversion to her own hair, the way she slips one-liners into our conversations, and the awkward not-quite on the lips, not-quite on the cheek way she kisses me goodbye when people are looking. There will be a hole in my life that I won't be able to fill for a long time.

Our time together will be short, and now that I know where the end lies, my emotions are in turmoil. I'm sad that I will lose somebody that means so much to me, but on the other hand, I am happy for her to get a fresh start and even happier for her kids. They have no idea what a good mother they have, I can only hope that someday they realize it.

I know what a good person she is, and because of all of you, I got to know her better and I was able to turn the worst week of her life around, while in the meantime it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life. I finally know what it means to truly care about somebody so much that I expected nothing in return. It's an amazing thing. If only everyone could feel what I've experienced this week.

When it comes right down to it, I feel a lot like Bill Murray at the end of Scrooged.

Thank you again, everyone, for everything. Words cannot express my gratitude.

Your humble host,


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