Saturday, May 13, 2006

Piss on a Rock

It’s horrible to lose a friend. But what’s horrible about Marks death is that as much as we loved each other, we also regularly frustrated one another. And so in a way that is probably typical of our relationship, I have spent the last weeks going through a full range of emotions: deep sadness, emptiness, anger, and guilt over the many times we fought, broke up, and got back together.

There are also times over the last week that I have laughed about his ways, his style. How he would call things different names.….Cadbury Cream Eggs = Crappy Cream Craigs….Tonka = poop. Horsepistol = Hospital. Tod Thortons = Tim Hortons. Vacay = vacation. Sammie = sandwich When he’d get frustrated, he would say “Piss on a Rock.”. I cringe when I think how I’d call him Greenie and Burg and how he’d tolerate it. It seemed at times, that he put up with me - someone who wasn’t a musician, wasn’t a skier, hated volleyball, made fun of Rush….and brought nude artwork into the apartment. (see Beth’s blog entry)

A couple days after Dana called me and told me he died, we were jogging on the National Mall (I live in DC now, have a baby, and a husband. )and we stopped so that my daughter could get out of the jogger stroller. We were sitting and Julianna started delighting in watching two dogs play. One was a German Shepard, the other a tiny little mutt. They were playing, but really the little one was antagonizing the German Shepard. And the German Shepard was so gentle. He could have stomped on the little one, but didn’t. We were laughing about how hyper that little dog was. .and we walked over to talk to the owners. I said, “Your German Shepard is so kind to that annoying little dog.. what’s the Shepard’s name?” and the guy replied “Jazz.”

The line between life and death isn’t always a harsh divide. Sometimes there are thin spaces where it seems as if those we love reach across. That day on the Mall, watching two very different dogs interact, Mark’s playful spirit became known to me in a way that I can’t totally describe. My eyes were open and I saw the gift Mark Greenwood’s friendship.. His life as I knew him, demonstrated getting along and being friends with all different types of people. Throughout our many differences, he still remained a friend.

As grace would have it, one of my last conversations with Mark was in spring 2000, right before I was heading to seminary. We debated God’s love and the role of religion in our lives. In typical Colburn/Greenwood fashion, we didn’t come to an agreement – but at least we enjoyed the banter. Since then, I finished school and serve as a United Methodist minister at a church in DC. I can’t be at the Tribute concert because I gotta baptize a baby that Sunday but I want everyone to know that I will be thinking about you. I really wish I could see everyone, and hear more stories like these online. Thanks Aaron for the blog and Tiff and Rob and everyone who is pulling the tribute together.
BTW – the naked butt picture that Beth refers to still hangs on the wall of my house. My nieces, who are 7 and 5, like to tell people “Did you know that’s Aunt Faith’s Butt?”.


Blogger bethbushey said...

So glad to hear that things are going so well for you. Teresa showed me pictures of your little girl, she's beautiful.

Also, I hope that the nude butt picture fits as well in its new home as it did at California!?


9:14 AM  

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