I went yesterday to Houston to have my port flushed. I was a little annoyed that they were not able to set it up so I could have this done at home. It is, as you probably know, about a five minute procedure. But I determined to make the best of it and to treat it as an adventure. We had a good trip. Afterwards we met my aunt for lunch at Pappasito's. On the way home, we stopped at the new Buccee's in Baytown, where I had my picture taken with Buccee. Go me! Adults in costumes make me a tiny bit nervous. The thought occurs to me now how it makes some people more comfortable to be in costume, and suddenly I am thinking of all the masks we humans tend to wear. In looking at it that way, costumes don't make me as nervous. I am familiar with, and somewhat accustomed to, masks. Though I am working hard to strip most of mine away. But that is not at all what I came here to write about.
I had a friend years ago. We worked and lived together for two summers, part of a young staff at a church camp. We kept in touch a few years after the summers ended. I spent some weekends at her house in-between working at the camp but we eventually lost touch and didn't even send Christmas cards. This was before widespread internet. When we got a computer and internet, and I learned you could find people on the internet, I searched for her. But I couldn't remember her married name. Finally I found that out and looked again. After a few tries over a few years, what I found was her obituary. And I was saddened by the fact that I'd kind of just missed being in contact with her again. She was a good friend with a dry, sassy wit, a delight to know. Why do we allow ourselves to lose touch with people we love?
When I found her obituary, I was more savvy on the internet and I located her older brother. We'd met a few times when I was staying at her house and we'd talk a bit about poetry writing, as each of us was dabbling in that at the time. For a short while, we'd connected on that level and we shared our poetry with each other. I'd written my friend a letter after she died and I sent it on to him. He seemed to have enjoyed that and shared it with his family. We might have emailed a couple of times more after that. He was an intelligent guy with a lot of different interests and after the poetry discussions, I'd always wished I could have connected with him on a more consistent level but he was way older and I never had much opportunity for interaction with him.
So, yesterday, my husband showed me the picture of the sister I'd been looking for. She is a friend of a friend on Facebook and I was glad to find her. She was only a couple of years younger than my friend and I. Her brother must have been about fifteen years older than we were. Anyway, as I was looking on the sister's Facebook page, I saw that her brother had died last December. I hadn't actually seen him in years so it was a shock to me to realize he was 73 years old. In my mind, I saw him as young as he was when we first met. I was saddened again.
My friend, her brother, her younger sister--these were people who occupied very short spaces in the time frame of my life, but they left warm memories and indelible marks on my heart.
RIP, Charlie. Tell Ruth hello for me. . .