I’ll Be Here When It All Gets Weird

Flogging Molly is a band you may know. Dennis J. Casey, Nathen A. Jeglinski, Bridget A. Regan, Robert Anthony Schmidt, George Edward Schwindt, Matthew A. Hensley, and David R. King, so far as I know, are the writers and owners of the copyright for the song below, If I ever Leave This World Alive. And I thank them for these words.

If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll thank you for all the things you did in my life
If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll come back down and sit beside your feet tonight

Wherever I am, you’ll always be
More than just a memory
If I ever leave this world alive

If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll take on all the sadness that I left behind
If I ever leave this world alive
The madness that you feel will soon subside

So, in a word, don’t shed a tear
I’ll be here when it all gets weird
If I ever leave this world alive

So when in doubt, just call my name
Just before you go insane
If I ever leave this world, hey, I may never leave this world
But if I ever leave this world alive

She says I’m okay, I’m alright
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would
Now everything should be all right

She says I’m okay, I’m alright
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would
Now everything should be all right
Yeah should be all right

______________________

It’s been ten years and a day since my nephew died from complications of leukemia. The story, for those familiar with this site, is not a mystery: The boy went to boot camp where he turned 18 years old, got suddenly ill, and was hospitalized for three weeks before his body succumbed to the complications of the disease. He had no prior history of cancer. He was away from home for the first time, really, into adulthood. But he did not leave this place alone. Andy left the world, and the world stayed alive and kicking.

This song met me in the depth of my grief. It seemed to speak truth into existence upon every listening. I wasn’t okay for a long while. I shed many tears. I railed and I whimpered.

Today, ten years on and a fair few deaths since, I feel like I can say “I’m okay, I’m alright, though you have gone from my life. You said that it would, now everything should, be all right.” I say it with the tension of unshed tears on my throat. I say it looking down the dark tunnel of pandemic. I say it a handful of years from launching my own kids into the world.

Again, if you’re a longtime reader here this is not news, but I made my nephew a promise the morning he died. I told him I would stay for it all. For every hard and dark and scary thing, and every joyful and bright thing. I promised I would stay. So far, it’s a promise I’ve kept, and I plan to keep it.

I’ll be here when it all gets weird. Andy says that to me through the song. I say that to myself through the song.

In this time when everything is weird, I’ll be here. This is where you’ll find me. Wherever I am. Always.

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