giving tanks

Give me a heart to hang onto
Give me a soul that’s tailored new
Give me a heart to hang onto
—  Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend

Easter morning on the Ed Whitlock Memorial Loop. It doesn’t feel like Easter this year.

There are no egg hunts, no families in their post-church finery, no shared celebrations in the park. Just the usual roster of cycling and running ne’er-do-wells looking at each other suspiciously while trying to maintain their 6-foot security blanket. One Easter bunny in a bow tie that may or may not be a hallucination lurks on the front stretch.

It’s easy to lose faith these days amid the pandemic, to give up on humanity, to stop caring.

But then.

You see a couple walking in the distance, united by a blue cord. At first you think it’s a dog leash, but there’s no dog.

Then you see the bag hanging over the man’s shoulder. He’s carrying his wife’s oxygen tank as they go for a stroll.

They walk along, the ambling of a couple who have been down this road many times. One minute they’re shoulder-to-shoulder, the next a ways apart, the way marriages go. But the lifeline is always there, holding them together. A heart to hang onto.

For better or worse, in sickness and health, when one needs a helping hand with a heavy load. That’s what marriage is. Love is in the air. And sometimes it’s in the oxygen tank. You say a little prayer to the Easter bunny in the bow tie, hoping they’ll be OK amid the threat of the vermin.

They head for their car. You head for the back straight. You hug your best friend. It’s a good Easter after all.

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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