My friend Larry helped me take my bull Charles Bronson to the butcher yesterday. Larry is short and Irish and laughing. I am not well known in our town, but Larry is. When we drive down the street, half the men in trucks are waving to him. Last fall I met a man who exclaimed happily, “Oh, you must know the leprechaun!”
I’ve known Larry for over 20 years. He’s a decade younger, a mere boy with a thick Irish accent when I first met him. But such is Larry’s outsized personality and confidence that I tend to think of him as my age or even older. He’s a very warm and very reassuring person.
“Sure, you’re nuts,” he said to me cheerfully as we set out. “But that’s why we like you.”
Long ago Larry and I butted heads. We are equally opinionated. He believed someone was not a trustworthy friend. I stuck up for this person. Larry was proved right, and he only rubs it in a few times every time we see each other.
The main thing about Larry is that he is dependable, unflappable, and kind. After getting up with DH I was almost lightheaded with tiredness. I’ve been sad anyway and then slaughterhouse days always fill me with grief. I had the usual lump in my throat when we loaded Charlie.
As Larry managed the borrowed trailer, the balky barn doors, and the driving, I was reminded of the scene between Father and the child Corrie in Corrie Ten Boom’s Holocaust memoir The Hiding Place, when Corrie asks Father a difficult question and he tells her some knowledge is too heavy, that she must trust him to carry the weight for her.
It tends to be my role to be the pragmatic, practical person who pushes through to get a tough emotional job done. But not this day. Though I was along for the five-hour ride, Larry took charge. He carried the weight of the slaughterhouse trip for me. He made all the decisions and warmed me with stories.
It’s hard to express how much such kindness means. Thank you, Larry. Godspeed, Charlie.