Thursday, August 8, 2019

Significant other...

The best mirror is an old friend. - Proverb

A typical morning, with the mundane of everyday tasks, a ray of joy crossed my path. Going about the usual preparation of the family, the lunches, the coffee, the everyday, everything stuff, I caught a glimpse of a bond of paper that is so special that just crossing my eyesight with the plane of its existence sent a shiver of pure joy down my spine. Instant happiness, a bright smile, a longing to touch and feel its power. It is the representation of everything, we have gained this year by the acknowledgment of our great loss in common. That is such a poor choice of words for what we experience, because it is not common our loss, it is great, but it is communal, it is shared.

Lets be clear, the shared experience is exactly that we both had a deep connection at one point in our young lives with Glenn, but it was in very different ways. Ruby had much more time with him. I was ripped away from the area much younger, and that is exactly how it felt. It was like ripping my heart out to leave the place I grew up and my dearest friends that I had known all my life. The grieving was very real for a girl that was already grieving other losses. It was intense and profound and shaped the rest of my young adulthood. Shying away from close heartfelt relationship became the norm instead of feeling a close bond with anyone. No one could really win the trust of that cherished spot anymore.

We learn, we grow, we deal, we move on. That’s exactly how it happens, time keeps moving and we don’t lose the feeling of loss but somewhere we deal with it. It becomes a part of our character, and we move on to remember selectively to guard the pain for another time. Enough of that.

Ruby, had much more time with Glenn. Being able to stay in the area and continue high school, and continue the relationship with the group of friends we had. It was a completely different experience. It wasn’t perfect, just different and longer. That extended time bonded them in a much richer way. I guess maybe at some point I was a little envious for them,thats what young inexperienced children do before they learn how to deal with their hurt. Now looking back it brought things full circle exactly how it was meant to be. Her closeness kept her attached, and my distance kept me detached emotionally. I watched from afar, and longed for the same chance at the experiences she and our group of friends were having, yet not able. It became exhausting emotionally and eventually you leave the past in the past and go forward.

Ruby’s forward was connection. She stayed as close as any loving soul would allow her to. She is loyal. She is constant. Her character true and heartfelt. There are so very few people in the world that demonstrate the loyalty to the extent that she has without having some burn scars to go with it. She has those cicatrix all over her super sensitive heart. She has them and soothes them constantly. She feels those losses and instead of reaching inward and closing them off to guard herself, she reaches outward to help you guard yours.

That is exactly what she did. We lost Glenn. We both did. I lost him in flesh in 1980, with the hope of seeing him again. I never did get to. We lost him in 2018, in flesh forever. We shared our memories of him and how he touched our lives together back then as kids. She shared memories of how their friendship stayed connected through the time. She shared how he moved on as well. She shared how it affected his family and friends. We got out our old photos and stories. Everything in common, again there is that uncommon experience that we shared either before or after his passing. What it lead to was an appreciation of each others capacity to feel connected despite the passing of time or with a country wall to wall between us. We were still the “group” the nucleus that joined together as youngins in Downey to endure primary and middle school. We may have had different names for it but our perspectives reached the same conclusion. We loved that “group” of people. We cherished each and everyone of them, even after all these years.

Out came the photos and with them the tears, the emotion, the love for Glenn. The sorrow for his family and ourselves, each other. What we longed for most was to be together all of us for a brief moment to enjoy each others company and endure the things we endure now as adults. We grieved apart, we grieved together, now there was “Really” no going back. We lost our first major casualty
The world had us up to our nostrils in pain, hurt, loss, pressure. There was no going back.

Except that one soul who’s dear heart could not let the missing presence of one of US go unnoticed, unspoken, forgotten. That dear heart that felt it so much more forcefully and heartfelt. That dear heart that reached out and told the people she loved from long ago and far away, that they are still very near and dear to her heart. And she found someone who also kept the mementos from middle school. The high ol times of yore, as memorabilia. The photos came out, the tears fell, the stories went back and forth. The astonishment that someone else remembered and cared about those moments. It was so amazing it sparked. The wireless connections were flying back in forth in amazement. The photos, the responses, the emojis, OMG the reactions. Sparks of amazement. There is no other word for what happened. The shining of the soul of Glenn as he reached his destination of peace and gave us the permission to be OK remembering him with us in our own manner with contentment and peace.

What do you do with such a roller coaster of emotion. Low of loss, high of connection, low of realizing we never again will be the same, High of knowing someone else treasured those times as much as someone else. Our buddy our Glenn is gone but his legacy is here. His spirit is with us. His inspiration moved us to keep close. Inspiration to re-connect the way we use to as youngins. Ruby is his channel of communication. She is the hub of the dear heart wheel of connectivity. It is a beautiful circle of people that she manages to keep loving and growing bonds of unity and hope. She unites us with the memories of all things beautiful, within us and around us. Ruby brought us to this point of unity with a simple wholehearted suggestion to put it in writing. To go back to what kept us bonded in the past. A letter, by post. How ingenious. Who would have thought it could mean so much?

At first I was aghast. How after all this time and all the technology we have to stay close at a seconds notice we can face-time, or video messenger. Why should we write a letter? It was so simple and easy yet more complex, more steps, more time. It was brilliant. It was a challenge to etheral within us and a pause to the emotions and senses we have on overload from so many media sources. We sat down and wrote a letter. And what happened was this energizing of imagination. This time to reflect and consider the wording before finalizing the conversation. Who knew that process of actual correspondence could revive in both of us a regeneration of creativity by simply sitting down once a month to write a letter. A tale of how our everyday mundane worldly lives had changed with time. The daily ups and downs of housewife, motherhood, workmanship, entrepreneurship, adulthood with advanced childlike playfulness. SOOOOO amazing.

The letters came, the letters went. Each time it was and adventure. We used everything on hand to write, write, write some more. It felt like receiving a book. It felt like writing a book, one especially created just for me and just for Ruby. The energy was so ecstatic, electricity was pulsating from coast to coast of the Grand ol USA. How the postal carrier didn’t get shocked to death with all the electric power is beyond me. A letter would arrive and we have to block off time to first sit and read and digest all the information, the emotion, the charge of dynamic thoughts feelings and experiences. Amazing is an understatement. It required that we set aside special little areas just for the time dedicated to replying to your letter. We brought in gel pens and glitter pens. We used every scrap of paper we had in our possession. Then came the day. How would we do justice to these works of art without the proper materials. Out came the Google Express, Staples, and Amazon app and the hunt was on. What would take our special bond of kindred-hearts correspondence and represent it properly? Something that seemed to be a forgotten art to the norm. Stationary. Where on earth could there possibly be something that could be worthy of the exalted gel glitter pen ink and words inscribed to our TheTenderTwo dearheart pen-pal.

I found it. Its beautiful. I have it here in my letter desk ready at a moments notice when my special package arrives. Its what keeps me sane until I get to spill my insanity out to the only person in the world who truly cares to read it. Ruby gets to see this exceptional creativity every month until the latest pack of stationary runs out and then I surprise her with a new design. Just seeing it out the corner of my eye this morning brought a joy so profound it enlivens me. Keep shining Ruby.

JUST for you Ruby.
Love you so much


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