Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gary Cieslak...January 30, 2009

After we knew he was sick, but before the worst of the symptoms would soon enough appear, Gary slid into the driver’s seat of his compact SUV and looked across at me. The mischievous grin, I knew, signaled that whatever was to come next was intentional, as he pushed a dull silver disc into the waiting CD player on the dash and pulled away from the curb.

Springsteen’s plaintive acoustic guitar and lonely harmonica conjured up the ghost of old Hank Williams. I’d heard the song before, but never really paid attention to the lyrics. Now as we drove down the tree-lined streets of Boise’s North End, I knew right away that the words were meant for me.


I would have said the same things of Gary:

“Well they built the Titanic to be one of a kind,
but many ships have ruled the seas
They built the Eiffel Tower to stand alone,
but they could build another if they please
Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Egypt, are unique I suppose
But when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

Now the world is filled with many wonders
under the passing sun
And sometimes something comes along
and you know it's for sure the only one

When they built you, brother, they turned dust into gold
When they built you, brother, they broke the mold

They say you can't take it with you,
but I think that they're wrong
'Cause all I know is I woke up this morning,
and something big was gone
Gone into that dark ether
where you're still young and hard and cold
Just like when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

Now your death is upon us
and we'll return your ashes to the earth
And I know you'll take comfort in knowing
you've been roundly blessed and cursed
But love is a power greater than death,
just like the songs and stories told
And when she built you, brother, she broke the mold

That attitude's a power stronger than death,
alive and burning her stone cold
When they built you, brother...”

("Terry's Song," by Bruce Springsteen)


Foursons said...

What perfect words.

I'm so sorry that you had to lose the one person you should have known longest in this world. I pray for peace and comfort beyond understanding on this anniversary tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

What a great post...and sweet picture.

Sounds like he was an extraordinary man....and he thought the same of you.

Christina Ellis said...

That's one of my dad's favorite songs. My heart goes out to you on this anniversary. I pray it gives you hope to know you'll see him again someday.

Anonymous said...

May your day be filled with peace...