Monday, October 31, 2011

Weak in the Knees

Surprisingly, K did write my sister!

It was a sincere letter full of feelings for our brother.  She said they were soul mates and, maybe in another place and another time, things might have been perfect for them.  Whenever they saw each other, she became weak in the knees like a young girl in love!    

One thing she did tell my sister was that they were never together sexually.  Only once did they get to be alone and talk intimately.  They both felt they didn’t want to cheapen the deep love they had for each other.

My sister and K plan to meet sometime in person and talk.  None of us want the love we feel for my brother to be forgotten.  As K said, “We all loved the same guy!" 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Brother’s Lover

We found love letters.

While my brother was fighting for his life in the hospital, my sister and my brother’s son went to my brother’s condo to search for medical and legal papers.  I waited in the family waiting room watching people come and go, some sleeping in the fold-out chairs.

When my sister returned, she had a small stack of letters some still sealed, but some opened.  She handed an opened one to me.  They had found a love letter and a card to someone with the initial K in his jacket coat pocket and they had read a few of them.

I can’t read these, I told them both.  These longing letters were for “her”… whoever she may be.  It was a shame she never received them I said.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get these love letters to her?  It would be impossible, I thought, but we all agreed it would be a romantic outcome.  It was comforting to know our brother was in a happy place when the stroke happened.  He loved someone and someone loved him!

After my brother’s death a few days later, the lovers’ words began unraveling the mystery.  In his home, we found elegant letters and poems, a few written by my brother, but mostly from the lady K.  My sister read more of the secret missives finding clues to who the mysterious K could be as she had to be someone living in my brother’s small town.  We discovered they had met at church.

K was in a physically abusive marriage.  She had been battling breast cancer for a few years… in her own words, wondering if anyone could really love her again after her deforming surgery.  Often she wrote her letters on the back road of the town’s huge cemetery.

My brother was legally separated for two years and had almost reached the end of a horrible marriage at the time of his death.  Using their initials, they often made a statement that together they would both be “OK”.  It was obvious that O & K had found comfort and peace in their love, like a tragic destiny.  Their letters and his poems had such a yearning that brought their happiness alive and then, because of his death, crashed those dreams in a poignant unbelievable sadness.

While cleaning out his home, we found all kinds of new household items; color-coordinated, unopened in bags with tags… they told of plans to start-over.  He was in his new dream car when the stroke hit him in the church parking lot.  We knew he had found a house in another state that he planned to purchase after his divorce.  We make plans and God laughs… but my brother was happy making those plans for the future.  It was apparent O was going to whisk K up one day and ride off into the sunset!

Two of my sisters visited my brother’s church in hopes of finding K.  We didn’t know what she looked like and only a few people took the time to find out who my sisters were, but as they were leaving, a woman came up to the car and introduced herself.  Shocked, my sisters told her who they were and, after some persuasion, K said she was the right person. 

K was worried about her letters to my brother being found, but my sisters assured her they had them all.  One sister pressed a piece of paper with her phone number and told Kathy to call her sometime.

She was a mousy woman with thinning, patched hair, probably from chemo treatments.  Not my brother’s type, my sisters thought.  Her eyes constantly darted back to her husband sitting in their car.  She was visibly sad, telling my sisters they had only been together once and their letters were the only thing that kept her going.  “I really loved him,” was the last thing she said as they parted ways.            

My sister hopes K will call her someday and eventually we can give the tender letters and poems to her without causing her more grief or pain.  Knowing some of the situation makes it seem dangerous. 

Who are we to judge, my sisters and I tell each other?  Who knows why we are drawn to one another for so many human reasons?  They needed their love and their dreams. 

The heart wants what it wants.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Steps to Nowhere?

Uptown there are “left behind” step that used to herald the entrance of a long-gone business.  The overgrown lot has been vacant for years, except for the eight broken concrete steps.

A few months ago, I started noticing homeless men sitting on the steps.  The shade trees on either side of the steps provided a respite from the summer sun and made a neat spot for the men to congregate and talk.

Lately, I began to think of those steps in a different way --- they are the steps to nowhere.  These men must feel their lives are going nowhere too with life tossing them out on the streets.  The steps might be comfortable for now, but maybe they should find another perch or a more helpful sanctuary.  There are places within a few blocks that offer ways of providing what they might need instead of resting at this weigh station on the road of life.

How many of us have missed opportunities by sitting on steps to nowhere?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

There Goes Your Tip, Honey!

The day after my older daughter’s birthday, we were out to lunch together.  Our waitress said to her, “You two are sisters, right?”  My daughter told her no, that I was her mother!

Being a bit depressed over her birthday anyway, this did not make my daughter very happy.  It made me feel good until I realized…

A teenager would think anyone over a certain age was ancient!  Forty-four or 65, it was all OLD to Miss Under-Twenty.  Oh, well, it felt good for a second or two before reality hit me.  I’m not getting any younger and neither is my daughter, but life is still good!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Just Lost It

Last week I got home from the grocery store and couldn’t find a little bottle of something that costs four bucks.  I checked everywhere including the receipt to make sure I bought it and didn’t leave the dang thing in my shopping cart.  Yep… it was on the list.  So where was it?

I went to garage and checked the grocery bags again… still not there.  As I put away my purchases, hubby offered to go back to the store and see if it was left out of the bag.  Before I finished, he called to say the clerk said she remembered putting it in a bag, but they gave us a replacement anyway.

By now, I had given up because it was becoming a colossal waste of time.  After he returned, my hubby rechecked the car and found the small bottle in one of the seats!  We figured it must have gotten stuck under the removable bottom of one of the bags and fell out as I tossed the reusable shopping bags back into the car. 

Embarrassing?  Yes, but I immediately took the replacement bottle back to the store and paid for it.  Our check-out lady was gone so I explained to another person what had happened.  She actually thanked me for being so honest!

As I left the store, I didn’t know what to say to being thanked for being honest.  I still think about that compliment and wonder what most people would have done.  For me there was no other option.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Who Am I?

Someone I’ve known for a long time… 20 to 25 years, a casual friend from work connections… suddenly called me “Mrs. Rhodes” recently!  He’s a peer from the not-for-profit work world where I’ve spent most of my time and he is about the same age.  I don’t even think I answered him.   

At first I didn’t know what to make of it.  Then I was royally pissed! 

Does he think I’m way older than him now?  Do I look older to him?  Do I need Botox and a face sanding?  Worse yet: I am forgettableMy hubby says maybe the guy had temporarily forgotten my name!  Okay.  We both know this happens to us occasionally, so maybe that’s what happened.  Should I give him the excuse of a “senior moment” and forgive him this once?

I’ll wait and see what happens next time I run into my old “who now thinks I’m older” dear friend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Circle of Short Do’s

As I sat in a circle of women the other day, I looked around to see everyone had a very short hair-do except me.  They all looked the same.  I call it the “I give up” hair style worn by women after they get older.

I remember my mother felt like this was something that was inevitable and necessary.  She would mention it every so often when I had long hair in my 30’s.  I used to tell her to look at Jackie Kennedy… she had long hair and she was old.  As I rightly noticed, movie stars and celebrities wore longer hair.  The rules didn’t apply to them?  Sure, they probably spent a fortune on keeping their lustrous locks.  Was it always about money and time?

I am old now and wear my hair in the medium length because I like it that way.  Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?  Don’t we finally get to choose without being bound my some archaic fashion rule?  It does take more time and money as my gray hairs take over and the mane become dry, but it’s not impossible.  

I thought times had changed until I sat in that circle of women.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Behind the Masks

Everywhere I look these days I notice a “frowny face”!  I don’t know if there are more of them now or if I’m just noticing them more.

It makes me wonder what’s happening behind those unhappy faces.  People seem more stressed and it shows on their faces.  I try to smile whenever I can find a reason --- smiling at an inappropriate time causes suspicion --- and sometimes I get one in return!  I try to say a kind word to break the tight expressions I see around me, but the sadness is catching.

Life is never perfect; attitude goes a long way in improving our mood.  We all must resist spreading this epidemic of worried expressions or the “frowny faces” will take over our planet.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shadow of My Past...

I'm sharing a link to my old blog on BlogStream... it will be open until April 30, 2011... only the curious need check it out:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello, Blogspots!

I'm one of the BlogStream refugees searching for new and old friends!  Hopefully, this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship as we share life's experiences through our own words.  *** Hugs, Rita B