This is the third in a series of posts about how Pearl has coped with the loss of her best friend, Blanche. The conclusion will come in the next post. (Watch for the fireflies!)
“I still don’t understand. Aren’t you supposed to love someone because they are really good, or at least really good at something? When you are good and practically perfect, life is supposed to go right for you.”
“Blanche was good to you, wasn’t she? She did all of the right things when it came to being your best friend ever, didn’t she? But she has gone away from us even though she was as good as a good friend could be, even though she didn’t want to, and even though she tried her best to stay with us as long as she could.”
Pearl closed her eyes as if all this was too much for her, but she was desperate to make sense of what has caused many to stumble and doubt.
“Love wouldn’t have anything to do in a perfectly right world. Love is action. Love has to do something. That is why it’s never enough to say you love someone. Love has to do something, even if it’s just telling someone a joke like you do so well. Love fills emptiness. Love covers imperfection.”
She looked into my eyes, hoping what I said was the truth, hoping to find her most needed answer there.
“I am out of jokes and silly hats and silly anything. How can you still love me?”
“I love you all the more, Pearl, when you have nothing to share except your heart.”
Pearl was silent. She didn’t know whether to stand or sit or run away to find a distraction.
“Think about these things for a while. You won’t get them right away like the punchline of a joke. Most punchlines come easily when you are ready for laughing. But most life truths only come easily when you are ready for crying.”
Pearl nodded. She would think through these things in the privacy of her nesting box.
As I headed back to the house, I heard Pearl calling, almost desperately, but she wasn’t calling for Blanche. She was calling for me.
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