Jayber Crow from a friend

A note from a dear friend with a lengthy quote from Wendell Berry; ah, it was a good day in the inbox.

"Her eyes had a glaze of tears that did not fall. I was touched entirely by the look of her and the sound of her voice. I said, "Della, are you all right?"

She said, "There are leftovers, Jayber. There are things I did or said that I wish I hadn't, and things I didn't do or say that I wish I had. When he finally got free of his sickness and awful clumsiness there at the last, I was glad, and yet I was sorry I was glad, and yet I miss him. But am I all right? Yes, I am all right...."

She went her way, then, and left me standing there still as a stone, all filled to running over with the force of what she had put into my mind."

It was the thought of Heaven. I thought an unimaginable thought of something I could almost imagine, of a sound I could not imagine but could almost hear: the outcry when a soul shakes off death at last and comes into Heaven. I don't speak of this because I "know" it. What I know is that shout of limitless joy, love unbound at last, our only native tongue.

I thought of you when I read this, you being still in that time of doing and giving. I was touched by your last letter about everyone eagerly working to do something, to show the love you all feel, and in some way envelop her in that. With my mom, I am always aware of just what Della says, a desire to erase certain things I did or said, and to have said and done things I didn't do and say. And I wonder if there is any person I love that I will not feel the same way about, in the looking back.


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