No hard feelings

No Hard Feelings“- The Avett Brothers

When my body won’t hold me anymore, And it finally lets me free, Will I be ready?
When my feet won’t walk another mile, And my lips give their last kiss goodbye, Will my hands be steady?

When I lay down my fears, My hopes and my doubts, The rings on my fingers, And the keys to my house, With no hard feelings

When the sun hangs low in the west, And the light in my chest, Won’t be kept held at bay any longer, When the jealousy fades away, And it’s ash and dust for cash and lust, And it’s just hallelujah, And love in thoughts and love in the words, Love in the songs they sing in the church, And no hard feelings

Lord knows they haven’t done, Much good for anyone, Kept me afraid and cold, With so much to have and hold

When my body won’t hold me anymore, And it finally lets me free, Where will I go?, Will the trade winds take me south, Through Georgia grain or tropical rain, Or snow from the heavens?

Will I join with the ocean blue, Or run into the savior true, And shake hands laughing, And walk through the night, Straight to the light, Holding the love I’ve known in my life, And no hard feelings

Lord knows they haven’t done, Much good for anyone, Kept me afraid and cold, With so much to have and hold, Under the curving sky, I’m finally learning why, It matters for me and you, To say it and mean it to, For life and its loveliness, And all of its ugliness, Good as its been to me, I have no enemies, I have no enemies, I have no enemies, I have no enemies

My mother is the embodiment of this song by The Avett Brothers, a song that I humbly submit, may be one of top ten greatest songs ever written in my lifetime, at least that I have heard. Who knows, there may be another one floating around out there that I haven’t crashed into, yet.

My mother’s father died when she was two and her mother was not in a position to take of her and her older brother so they lived with and were raised by their grandmother, the mother of her father, a mother devastated by the death of her only child.

My great-grandmother adored my uncle, a boy who reminded her of her son, and tolerated my mother. She never neglected my mom but she also never showered her with love and affection. In the meantime, my grand-mother remarried and started another family leaving her first two children with their grandmother in a distant city.

My mom finished high school early, got married when she was still a baby, and had me and my sister before she was old enough to vote or attend the adult Sunday School class at the Baptist Church. She says it was pretty awkward being 18 and pregnant in the youth Sunday School class but dancing wasn’t the only rule those Southern Baptist wouldn’t break.

She had tough childhood, raised in a very small town, by a poor and frugal women, frugal with both her money and her tenderness but as mom has reminded me, all my life, she has no hard feelings.

My mom likes to say that “we all just do the best we can do”. When she talks about her grandmother she doesn’t talk about the lack of affection, or the curt words, or why her brother got new clothes and she didn’t, she said her grandmother “did the best she could do”. She doesn’t harbor any resentment against her mother for leaving her after her father died, or starting a new family. She said her mother “did the best she could do”.

Lord knows they haven’t done, Much good for anyone, Kept me afraid and cold, With so much to have and hold

“What would I gain for being mad at them?” she told me one day when I asked her how she felt about her grandmother and mother. As an adult, she had a loving, caring and devoted relationship with both of these women. But wasn’t it hard, I asked her one day? Didn’t she keep something bottled-up inside of her, not hate but maybe disappointment in the choices these two women made? No, she said, “they did the best they could do.”

When my body won’t hold me anymore, And it finally lets me free, Will I be ready?

I struggle with hard feelings. I remember the slights and the silence from people. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, chalking a snub up to busyness, or scorn to stupidity but I don’t always let it go, sometimes I go out of my to give it back and then I think, what am I missing, not from them but for myself. What else could I fill this space up with?

The amount of room we have in our hearts for people is limitless, but for whatever reason, those we may dislike, or even hate take-up an inordinate amount of space, certainly more than their fair share. Did you ever wonder why? It’s not because of them, it’s because of us, the place we grant them, front and center at the finest reserved table we have to offer. And we feed them. We allow them to eat at the trough of our emotions and the funny part, most don’t even know. Whose fault is that? You know the answer.

And love in thoughts and love in the words, Love in the songs they sing in the church, And no hard feelings

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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6 Responses to No hard feelings

  1. Barry says:

    I am with you mother. I’m not into resentment or regret. They did the best they could.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patty says:

    Very profound again.
    XxX

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am touched by the Avett Brothers’ words, as well as your own. I, too, am a hard feelings kind of guy, when someone’s done me wrong. Forgiveness is a tough lesson to learn, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

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