A prayer for a friend

A prayer for a friend

I sit on a shaded bench on Rehoboth Avenue and watch people walk by.

At this early-morning hour there are families with small children, an infant cradled in burly, tattooed arms, and a little girl skipping in a pink ballet skirt.

Children are warned to hold hands crossing the street.  Couples are clasping coffee cups.

Alone in this crowd, my mind goes to the friend who just lost her son.  An overdose no one could foresee.  Can anyone, ever?

A mother leads a troupe of six young girls.  A woman wearing a Yankees shirt smiles at me and says good morning.  The guy with a very thick beard pushes a cart stacked with water bottles.

And I wonder:  is happiness a delusion?  Is the world in so much pain that moments of calm or joy, like these, are fleeting and rare and random?

Just like now.  Like here.  The one time each year when may family is all together –  and everyone is healthy.  We laugh a lot.  We make meals that are memorable. And we remember to be grateful.

And while I mourn for my friend, I pray that she may, one day, find moments like these.

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