by your side

Pamela,

I’ve sewn you into my heart, painted you on my soul and tucked the mere thought of you safely away in a corner of my mind where you will always be surrounded by the places and people you love.

33 Years ago we were both getting ready to set out on a journey that has led us to this moment.
Each year, I think of many things on our anniversary and today is no different.

Memories of long walks when we didn’t worry about our daily Fitbit goal, our minds uncluttered by things we didn’t know were coming, some wonderful and awesome, some sad and bittersweet, some seemingly sent from the heavens above.
We’re growing old together and for that I thank the good Lord above.
He knew we were cut out for the long haul and I mean that in the sweetest way possible.
I think about the first night I saw you, really saw you. And I remember the staggering feeling of simply knowing; knowing that someday ‘you and me‘ would ultimately turn into ‘us‘. It was a magical feeling and one that still lives and breathes inside this old heart of mine.

We have been blessed with a life that’s been good, maybe different than what we expected but it’s been quite the wonderful ride.
There’s the love/hate relationship we have with the house we’ve lived in for 32 years, the autumn leaves that always seem to find their way back into the driveway, 33 years of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, food, friends, laughter and tears, hellos and goodbyes, songs from the heart, midnight ‘I love you’s and obviously 33 years of cats.
And a healthy dose of our ‘family’ in Australia for good measure.
And then there’s three of the most wonderful daughters that we ever could have hoped for.
Raising them has been such an incredible and fulfilling journey and one that continues.
And then there’s our precious little granddaughter, Meryl. [Insert *sigh* HERE]

I can’t imagine any part of my life without you by my side.
And I wouldn’t change a single thing.
But if I could, I wish I would have found you sooner.

Happy Anniversary to the gentlest heart, most beautiful soul and my very best friend.
I am with you always . . .

~m

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Sunglasses at night

It seems improbable and physically impossible to feel alone on the streets of a city the magnitude of Boston but I’ve had such a day today.
I ate a meager lunch in a deserted food court, rode a ghost train with no passengers
(save for a lone and apathetic conductor that collected my money),
walked down an empty Boylston Street to an ‘I am Legend’-like South Station.
My mind doesn’t want to let anyone in today and I feel I’m struggling against a surreal and desolate landscape that is the city of Boston.
I loathe days these because I feel almost anonymous and somewhat disposable.
And nothing I can say or do seems to change anything.

I get a seat on the train and I put on my sunglasses even though it’s 5:30pm and the sun has set on the city.
UV protection for the soul, I think,
as I contemplate a jump into a vat of lukewarm self-pity.
No, that would be too damn easy.
The past several weeks have wreaked some serious emotional havoc on my sorry 49-year-old ass and this is the aftermath, an ardent and internal hangover; it’s temporary but so very intense.
I come to realize that I’m just really tired and can’t seem to catch up.
Exhausted, actually.
Sleep doesn’t help.
But writing it out has immense possibility.
And it does.

“How are ‘ya?”

{Oh, God . . . not that question again, ad nauseum}

{Me smiling}
“Just another day in paradise, buddy, just another day.”

And I carry on.

Still somewhat alone.

For the time being . . .

~m

Ps. happy birthday to Smoke &Mirrors (2.22.05) {you people are sick} :mrgreen:


True Companion

Sands of time drift silently by us,
yet here we are climbing invisible mountains carelessly left behind,
alone; yet never alone
true companions . . .

Evening hours sift seamlessly into the bleak tranquility of dawn,
and here we are once again,
facing truth and light, overwhelmed . . .
but still impossibly together
true companions . . .

the Years grow wings, birds leave the nest and
here we are, holding hands, in some kind of crazy love
taking this life day by crazy day
the best way we know how . . .
just me and you,
my one true companion –
and I love you . . .

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I would offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
There’s no doubt in my mind where you belong

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
There ain’t nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rollin’ sea
Down the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
But you ain’t seen nothing like me yet

There ain’t nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
Make you happy, make your dreams come true
To make you feel my love

~Still crazy after all these years (go figure) . . . here’s to another 24

always,
~m

Letting Go

I find myself once again at a crucial and necessary point in my life where a situation leaves me with no turning back and no time left for second chances.
If this post comes across as somewhat cryptic, it should,
I’m in camouflage mode right now.
There’s a part of me that wants to run away if only to spare myself the inevitable emotional turbulence most likely to be encountered . . . but I can’t run away anymore.

It took a conversation with a very special friend to help me see the proverbial ‘forest through the trees’ and there will be no turning back, no gazing in the rear view mirror.
The time has come for me to sit one on one with my dad and tell him it’s alright to let go.

He’s holding on for reasons that only he knows.

I’ll take his aged and creased hands in mine and tell him as lovingly as possible that my sister and I are fine, that my mother waits patiently on the other side, that he can finally rest his weary head.
There’s a selfish part of me that never wanted to experience a scenario such as this, a part of me that wanted some silly miracle, an impossibility and medically improbable wish upon a non-existent star.

The little boy in me just doesn’t want to give his father the blessing he truly deserves, and though I understand it I’m having a very difficult time with the goodbye part.

I just can’t let go.

In my heart, I see my mother as I did that day long ago, on
Mayflower Beach but this time she’s not walking away she’s holding out her hand to my father.
They’ve both been alone for far too long and I know my father’s heart can’t take much more.

I have to tell my dad, ‘you can let go now‘.

I want him to touch the stars, and be that long forgotten prayer I’ve held inside me since they both got sick; I want them to once again be together . . .
Maybe I just needed time to understand that.

There will be a crystal winter night in the not too distant future that will find me gazing at the mysterious night sky.
A star will sparkle in such a way that it catches my eye.
As I look a bit closer I’ll notice that it’s not one star, but two.
Maybe then I’ll be able to let them go.
Though I doubt it . . .

~m

Nine Eleven

I remember the day vividly; there were crystal blue skies, warm and ample sunshine, comfortable temperatures, a picture perfect fall day in New England.

The date was September 11, 2001 and I was just getting into work (selling pianos at the time) when the phone rang.
It was my friend Colin, a piano technician from the store where I worked calling to tell me he’d heard on the radio that a plane had just flew into the World Trade Center in NYC.
It must have been a terrible accident we both agreed, a freakish malfunction of an old turbine perhaps, a minor incident but nevertheless a tragic loss of life of strangers neither of us would probably ever know.
At the time, it seemed safer thinking of it that way.
It was a small plane, Colin said and that made me feel better.
Fewer people meant fewer casualties in a city the size of New York.

 

After I hung up the phone, it occurred to me that something didn’t seem quite right about the conversation. Couldn’t put my finger on it but something was wrong.
I knew it and Colin knew it, we just didn’t want to say it.

I mean, planes just don’t fly into buildings, do they?

My question was promptly answered when the phone rang 15 minutes later.
It was Colin again sounding a bit nervous.

Another plane? Jesus Christ, what the hell is going on? I asked.

He went on to tell me that both of the towers were hit and that it looked like we were at war.

War? I thought, With who?

I went outside and looked up into the sky for a sign that the world was still alright and all I saw was the endless crystal blue of the atmosphere but I noticed something else; there was an eerie stillness and silence hanging in the balance.

Word got around quickly that the US had been attacked as we began adding words to our daily lexicon: WTC, 9-11, Atta, Al Qaida, Al-Jazeera . . .

The dark truths would begin to bleed through the seemingly impenetrable fabric of our lives virtually changing all of us, forever.

The phones started ringing at the store . . . but not from customers.
The calls were from wives to husbands, sons to mothers, sisters to brothers – with one simple question; are you okay?
By noontime the phones stopped ringing and business ceased as the United States was brought to its very knees.

I can’t help but think of the same three words I thought on that horrible day: God Help Us

 

I still pray for all that we lost that day; the brilliant lives, our {unjustifiable} innocence and our shattered sense of {false} security.
We were too blind for far too long.

My words describing that day are still woefully inadequate but my thoughts and feelings of incomprehensibility are still so incredibly tender and raw.

I want badly to forgive but I still can’t.

God Bless all those we lost.

As Annie said, turn those headlights on . . .

~m