Re: When The Tables Turn...
Yesterday, in the midst of having spent many of my waking hours wandering through a woodland of dark days and dealing with far too much death, my own personal "brush-busting" found me breaking into a clearing and getting my bearings again.
The knock at the front door came while the afternoon was getting on toward evening. There, standing in the light of the front porch, were two people-- a young man and woman. I didn't recognize the car, but the man looked familiar in a way that I couldn't quite settle on.
The introduction was brief and to the point... "I don't know if you remember me, but my name is David and I was in your tying class 11 years ago..." Standing there before me was a 14-year old boy now grown into a man that I hadn't seen in over a decade, along with his fiance', Maureen. They were headed back to Ann Arbor after a few days spent touring the northern part of the state, and he'd decided to swing by and say "Hello..."
After inviting them in, the conversation that followed was like rolling back the calendar. Yes, he still tied flies with the same passion he'd shown in class, as the skills would serve him well in what he'd chosen to be his life's profession--pediatric oncology. He's now in med school while Maureen complete's her law school studies, and given his confession that his cancer has been beaten for good, it all was welcome news that pleased me to no end.
The evening was over far too quickly, as Ann Arbor is about a four-hour drive from where I sit. As they rose to leave, David asked a question of sorts that both humbled and honored me, all at the same time. With just a bit of hesitancy, he quietly said "Would you be my best man at our wedding in late May?" It wasn't an option in my mind to say "No..."
With that, my former student and his bride-to-be left for points south, and a thought occurred to me as I watched the tail-lights disappear out of sight. Come May, my "official" title in the wedding may be "the best man," but the true best man will be the one standing there in front of me, reciting his vows...
Even in death, there is life...