Saturday, March 8, 2008

Marcie's Modesty

I have been asked before and have recently had the question raised anew: "Would Marcie really want you to do all of this?"

The answer is that I do not know. But a deeper look at her sweet and demurring soul might just be revelatory.

Sometimes Marcie was modest, it is true. She did not like too much attention focused on her and shied away from recognition. At work, she considered little awards to be nuisances, and recognition to be a little overwhelming.

"I just want to go to work, do my job, keep my head down, be left alone and come home so I can enjoy my life," she said once. "I don't want to go out after work, I don't want to go to lunch with the herd, and I don't need to be pointed out for my work."

For the most part, that's how she lived. But being the beautiful and talented woman she was, word got around. She was an expert baker, a solid and smart worker, a brainiac, a delightfully friendly ear... she was recognized for the jewel she was.

She won little awards, but never brought them home to share or hang up. She never took me to her work's annual dinners, which she avoided by and large. She shied away from the acclaim.

I think it is because, no matter how much people told her they loved her, respected her and admired her for her talents and her every little thing, she was unable to accept it as genuine.

She barely believed me for a long time, and when she did take my compliments as honest, she just melted. She told me why once.

"No matter what, I was too fat," she said. "I loved to eat, and i was overweight, but it was the only thing my dad focused on. I was too fat."

She had dreamed of broadcasting and had even started doign the news at San Diego High. Her father had an ally in the teacher.

"I was always told that I might be a big hit off-camera," she told me once. "I quit the program the next year."

She was, of course, a curvy but absolutely toned girl when I met her, but those scars persisted. She could never get over the way that every accomplishment was overshadowed, unheralded or dismissed over some flaw that consumed her father's entire view of her.

I am sure that all her swimming medals, awards, accomplishments and character traits were sources of pride, as was her beautiful body and pristine beauty. I know she loved my long lists of praise on the couch or in the bed.

I think that she decided to enjoy so much of what she earned on her own, or just with me, privately, because she could never trust the wider perception of her to not become fixed on one flaw, long gone. She kept her head down.

She did let me perform grand public gestures, though. Sneak attacks with flowers at work, candy sent up from the employee entrance and other things only caused the most cursory of curses to be heaped on me, smiles and blushing the balance to that.

Would Marcie forbid me to pursue a long trek in her honor? Probably at first. Would she hate that I extolled her greatness on this site? Perhaps. But would she get over it all? I think so.

I know one thing about my baby very very well. Marcie could be convinced that she was all she was touted to be, but she very much discounted anyone she had not let in, and those people were few and far between.

I was chief among them. She would know I am sincere. I only wish that, as I prepare to change my life around and launch my trip and try to secure someone to publish the tale, I would be doing so in honor of the great courage she showed as she healed, instead of as she was taken from me.

Then she could yell at me and be embarrassed and furious, but then then kiss me and make it all okay again.