In The Sky Around Me

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Something good happened today.  It was something REALLY good….but only to me.  There wasn’t anyone else on this earth who would care or understand how much this good thing meant to me.  It was a work-related victory.  Years of hard work, struggle, stress, wishing, hoping, jumping through hoops, and today the powers that be granted my wish.  I received the official phone call this morning.  I was still at home.  After a long workday yesterday, I was enjoying a relaxing morning at home.  I was getting ready to head to the office when the call came in on my cell phone.  I was standing in my bedroom, and I could see myself in the dresser mirror as I took the call.  I looked so damn happy!  Oh, I was.  Even though it was work-related, to me, it was very personal.  My job isn’t just my job.  It is a passion.  This program is my baby.  It’s in my heart.  I have worked for this for a long time.  There were times when I didn’t think it would happen, but today….it did!

When I finished up my phone call, I stood there for a moment.  Who could I tell? Who would share the joy and satisfaction that I was feeling.  I called the office.  “Oh, so what does that mean?”  OK, obviously not a big deal to them.  I called my boss, “Well, congratulations….and hey, by the way….” and on to another subject.  I called T.  “That’s great, hun.”   Of course, he cared, but he was busy at work.  As happy as this news had made me, I was beginning to feel dejected.  Is happiness still happiness if  no one is cares about it?  Is it happiness if there is no one there to share the joy?

I stood there alone in my happiness, and felt loss begin the creep in.  I wanted to tell my dad.  I have no sister, no brother.  My mom would have no clue what I was talking about.  My friends?  Oh, the friendships are still there, but I have sequestered myself.  I have been living cloistered within my depression, pain, and loss for so long, too long.  No, they haven’t given up on me.  They are good, caring people, but they would be shocked to receive a call from me out of the blue telling them about my job.  Well, that would only add fuel to the “Pam Has Gone Crazy” fire.

Thank you (and happy birthday!) to my dear blogging friend, Seasweetie, who responded immediately to my text.  “Please call me when you have a moment to listen to me ramble.”  She listened, and she cared.  A million blessings to her for indulging me.

Sharing moments, both good and bad, has become more significant to me now.   Throughout my life, I have taken it for granted that someone would always be there when I reached out.  Most times, I didn’t even have to reach.  I trusted that part of my life.  Sure,  many tragic things have happened over the years, but I had a support system.   My Dad.  There wasn’t a day that went by when he didn’t call me with a smile in his voice.  He is who carried me through the rough patches in my life.  I didn’t even realize it at the time, but it wasn’t my strength that got me through the bad times. It was the love and support of those around me.   My support system has malfunctioned.  It is broken.  Some of the parts are now missing.  I feel like I am stumbling around blindly through my life sometimes.  I am beginning to value the moments in my life when people are good and kind, and I try to pass those moments on to others.

Once again, as I drove to the office, I was touched by the beauty of the nature around me.  I am blessed to enjoy a beautiful, peaceful drive each morning and afternoon.  I opened the sunroof, and let the heat pour down on me.  I thought about the word love as I drove.  What does it mean?  What does the word love mean?  Is there a beginning, middle, and end to love?  I thought of my dad.  I don’t feel that he is really gone.  Yes, I know that he is gone from this earth, but I feel his presence around me.  I feel his love.  It is his love for me and mine for him that keep him alive.  Is that what love is?  Is love that unnamed thing that reaches beyond the human experience?

I looked up the dictionary definition of love.  I had planned on posting it here, but found it too lacking and unsatisfying.  Anyone who is interested in Merriam-Webster’s version of love can do a Google search on their own.  Love is a word that is bandied around too much in my opinion.  It’s a word that is too often used as a means to please people in the moment.  “Oh, I love you.”  or “Oh, I love the beautiful scarf you’re wearing.”  Yes, someone may delight you, amuse you, even turn you on, but that is not love.  A scarf may be beautiful, or warm, or expensive, but can you really love an inanimate object?  Gosh, I hope not!

Love is a verb.  Love is an “action word.”  Love is a very weighty action word that carries with it a sense of honor, respect, and responsibility.  My dad loved me through action.  Yes, through words, too, but mostly through action.  I was his daughter and he loved me.   Showing his love to me through his actions was never a burden to him.  It was a first thought, not a second or third.  My happiness was his happiness.  My sorrow was a sorrow that we shared.

As these thoughts of love, life, my dad, sorrow, joy, and pain all ran through my mind this morning, I thought of this phrase:  “It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.”  No.  I don’t believe that.  Real love is not something that is ever possible to lose.  Real and true love once given, cannot be lost.  Love is like the sky.  It goes on endlessly.

 

Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.

Emily Dickinson

Stepping Stone

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Tonight was a good night, and I needed that.  Another concert on the plaza.  Two down, eight more to go.  It’s easier this year, because I have some help.  All I have to do is show up and introduce the band.  No more lugging things from my car, dumping bags of ice, and later the water from the melted ice.  Still, concert nights make for a long day at work.  Eight hours in the office and then what feels like another work day in the evening.  I’m not at my best right now, both mentally and physically, and these concert days wear me out.  Tonight was good, though.  I knew the band.  They are friends.  Back when I was a musician, I played in bands with several of them.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  It was.  I was a different person back then, but that is another story.  Right now, I am trying to concentrate on the life in front of me.

The drummer for tonight’s band is from my own little town.  I’ve known him most of my life.  I can remember being a middle school girl and watching him play.  Years later, he was my son Andrew’s drum teacher.  He is also my friend, and we share many mutual friends.  I had calls all day from people in my little town.  “What time is the concert tonight?  Can we bring a cooler?  Do we need to bring chairs?”  Even so, I was surprised to see rows of people that I knew!  I was surrounded by friends and family tonight, and that felt so good.  My worlds collided in a good way.  My work world in a city that I love and my real life world from the town where I am rooted were all gathered in one place tonight.  I danced on the plaza with childhood friends to music played by other friends.  The sun was setting over the river, and a sliver of moon shown in the sky.

Tomorrow will be another day.  Tonight’s magic spell of peace and calm is now just a memory, but it is not gone.  It is not lost on me.  It was a stepping stone on this path.  Tonight bolstered me up just when I needed it.  Good people were once again put in my path at a time when I most needed my faith in human kindness and goodness restored.

None of it was about me.  None of it had to do with me.  No one was there to see me, or because of me, or for me.  Still, the evening touched me.  Once again, I was an observer.  I watched.  I looked at people and their reactions.  It was seeing those reactions that reminded me of how it felt to be happy.  I remembered!  I saw them enjoying music, the evening, the company of their friends.  I saw them smile and laugh and dance.  Watching it all, these people from my town and my life in the place where I work, reminded me of some lost song that my soul used to sing.

My life has changed.  I am no longer the middle school girl watching the band.  I am no longer the mother listening to her child learn to play drums.  I am no longer the woman in the band.  I am no  longer the woman filled with hope who once stood and watched the snow fall twinkling like magic through the lights of the plaza almost four years ago.  I have seen things I should not have had to see.  I have lost things I should not have had to lose.   I am someone else entirely now.

We have all changed.   None of us are free from the pain and changes life throws our way.  We have all changed.  I still don’t know who I am or who I have become or will become.  Maybe the people I watched tonight know who they have become.  Maybe that is why they are happy.

As I sit here writing, I am afraid.  I am afraid of sleep and dreams and tomorrow.  What it will bring?   I don’t want to plunge back down, but I know I will.  It’s inevitable.  I know that.   Tonight was a brief intermission.  Tonight I was not alone.  I felt good and whole for a few moments.  That’s why I must dissect those moments and glean all possible knowledge from them. Tonight was a stepping stone that I must carefully place in a solid resting place on my path.

Before the curing of a strong disease, even in the instant of  repair and health, the fit is strongest.  

Evils that take leave, on their departure most of all show evil.  

~ William Shakespeare