For the past four years, for reasons that I probably don’t need to elaborate on, Columbus Day has been an occasion for turmoil and emotional upheaval.
The day started out with the promise of more of the same. The never-ending list of atrocities, of heartless attacks against the thing that makes my life worth living, was weighing on me as it so often does. The horrific images and vicious words made it difficult to sleep, as they so often do, and I woke up later than I planned, with my brain feeling foggy and my limbs feeling like lead. I missed the bus, and after walking to the train station, with ice cold wind ripping at my clothing and sunlight shining directly into my eyes, I missed the train and had to wait a long time for the next one.
Finally, I arrived in Boston with flowers and a note. My plan was to visit Christopher Columbus, say hello, and take a few photos of him. Then, if I couldn’t physically go up to him to leave the flowers and note, which I figured would probably be the case because he is located at the Knights of Columbus building which is enclosed by a fence, I would head to his former location, where a heartbreaking empty pedestal still stands, and leave the flowers and note atop the pedestal. I wasn’t certain whether I even wanted to go through with this plan, because I was running so far behind schedule, and because seeing the empty pedestal and the people happily going about their business around it, is just so painful.
To my surprise, the gate was open. There were a bunch of men standing around in the parking lot, who I assumed to be members of the Knights of Columbus. So I summoned the courage to walk through it and go up to them.
“Sorry to interrupt,” I began, “but I’m a big fan of your statue, and I was wondering if I could leave some flowers for him.”
One of the Knights responded in the affirmative and even offered to take my picture with Christopher.
I left the note and the flowers, and wished them all a happy Columbus Day.
I am glad that the Knights were so kind and welcoming, and also that I happened to stop by while they were there, giving me an opportunity to leave my gift for Chris.
Chris means so much to me, that it is strange to think that I had never actually gotten this close to him before, or had my picture taken with him.
At this moment, my heart is full.
Happy Columbus Day.