LET THEM DENY THEMSELVES
with Rev. Rachel
34 LET THEM DENY THEMSELVES Mark 8
Into traditional Eastern Shore tribes, clans, associations – Tad never did fit. Some would say he could not; I say, would not. Not everybody can find their place at the table of manmade identity politics. Thank God. Because then, there would be even fewer followers of the one who said that life lived with him would mean re-learning self-hood.
Tad’s efforts at finding a niche and from there, making his offering to this world, were holy. They were that poignant mix of troubled and triumphant. He knew love and he knew loss—deeply.
I can see him in his workshop, carving until the wood in his hands revealed a thing of beauty. On occasion he’d take the car out to Eastville for “wing night” and sometimes his skiff out to the mouth of the creek. But most of the time, he was at Webb’s Island.
That was where I came to know him. The sign that marks the way there (above) is a first indication that one is not descending upon Hawaii. But if you are a lover of seaside—what Eastern Shore folk call seaside—then it’s plenty heaven-like. He asked for his ashes to spread off those smelly, muddy, majestic salt marshes.
You see, Tad Beach died this past week. Maybe he was ready. But I wasn’t. I failed. I flat-out failed to tell him the things that needed saying. That emotion crashed over me like a whitecap during a wind advisory, throbbing like only remorse can…oh, the things we have done and left undone.
He had three children, an ex-wife, and an addiction. [He gave me permission, once, to speak this part of his truth.] Without diminishing those realities and who he was or was not for others, I bear witness to the Tad I knew when I say that he was lover with a capital “L” and a believer with a capital “B”. How he longed to see others thrive and how he looked for God in ways that are uncommon, I should have told him how much it counted.
Tad, thank you for your life. Thank you for taking an active interest in my life and in those things that none of us singularly possess. You had more admirers than you knew. We perceived that you were marching to the beat of a different drum, blessing others along all the while. We were just too caught up in the stuff of false self-hood to say so or to keep more of your company. You were treasure. You are treasure. Beloved friend, go rest high~