Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Hubert Humphrey Was Right by Accident

Dear John,
Hubert Humphrey has been on my mind today. (I never thought I'd say that.) Remember during the campaign an obscene number of years ago, when Joe Cocker had a hit with John Lennon's I Get By with a Little Help From my Friends, and Humphrey praised the song in a speech, and everybody under 30 laughed hard enough to injure themselves because Humphrey was so anti-drug but had no clue about the song? (I dare you to diagram that sentence.) It all gave us one more reason to feel superior to our parents' generation, and it didn't hurt the song's sales any, either.
I get by with a little help from my friends.
Well, the song has been on my mind most of the day. I'm still flaring, and I've had a rough week emotionally, and my friends have been here for me and helped so much. And I realized that I've been hearing the song in my head today with the same meaning that Humphrey gave it all those years ago. I'm certain that fibromyalgia and widowhood weren't on his mind. But somehow, by accident, Hubert Humphrey got it right. (That's another thing I never thought I'd say.)
Parenthetically, I have to add that my visual recollection of Joe Cocker's performance of the song is also right. Fibromyalgia requires drugs. Not the type of drugs we were thinking about in those days, but drugs nonetheless. The legal kind. For most of us. There's been some major success with treating fibro with marijuana. But that's another topic entirely. I remember the one time I got stoned on second-hand smoke at that Dylan concert, and the feeling wasn't particularly pleasant. Anyway.
So tonight I want you to know that I have good, dear women-friends and fibro-friends and widow-friends, and that I'm getting by with their help. We take turns looking after each other, and we're all making it. Some of us aren't sure yet that we want to make it, but we're doing it anyway. Please pray for my friends when you pray for me! They are how I'm getting by without you.
Love you with all my heart,