I want to thank "Cuban in
The last few days have been revealing to me, and I’ve been taking steps to put myself back together, like a mirror that has been shattered because it revealed too much, and the slivers of glass like pin-pricks upon one’s nerves, and like slivers working themselves out, but like a broken mirror the reflection is not the same as it was before.
Once again the warm, practical, abrasiveness of Lillian helped me see things further.
When I called her for Sunday Brunch she was more than happy to go out, even if it threatened rain. However rain never showed its cloudy head and instead bright sunshine opened the day like a promise of the Spring that is still to come.
I let Lillian select the place so we left early, and following her directions we found ourselves in
After we put our orders in and coffee was poured, she fixed me with her eyes and said simply “Spill”. I told her everything from the beginning, leaving nothing out, and what triggered my reaction.
She said “You had a break down, for so long you’ve been holding this in, you buried it, making your mind focus on other things, even with dealing with your Father. The original anger you had towards your Father broke down the minute he changed and finally saw “the light”. So now it was you, but you hid it, by buying property, making money even in a flat economy, volunteering, fund raising, helping your college roommates find jobs, you even helped Janet when her car was wrecked by paying for the repairs, she told me that you never asked for the money back, and even being supportive to Frank and Joe and their friends, you kept looking outward, but you never took the time to heal yourself, you never looked inward.”
She was right, I had been afraid to do any real examination of myself. Lillian continued on by saying that hearing that musical piece was a 1 in a 1,000 chance, considering that I listen to mostly Big Bands, Sinatra, Dino, some jazz, and when I have listened to the classical radio station it was always in the afternoon, usually nothing so rich sounding, she noticed my taste had always been Vivaldi, Corelli, Mozart, Debussy, she never saw anything in my collection by Rachmannioff.
She said I had suppressed my grief, had subjugated it to my desire to succeed in life. And then for some reason at that moment I was vulnerable, the passion in that music triggered the memory of the passion of what I had and lost. She said it takes a strong person to do that, but one can’t do it forever, that is why I reacted the way I did.
She told me that was how she felt when she lost her husband, the man of her life, she went into a cave, to mourn, and she was getting ill without realizing it, if it hadn’t been for her children and the energy of her grandchildren she would have been happy to have rolled over and die. “You do come out of it” she said. “But it takes time and you didn’t have time on your side, at that moment despite what you wanted your friends were right.”
She said that what My Love's family did was only in their own self interests, they really weren’t aware of what happened between their son and me, they did what they thought was right. And she said what my friends did to keep me going was right, “You had to pass those exams, and your Degree was on the line.”
She said the hardest thing we have in this world is to have time to grieve, we are constantly being pushed forward, the Victorian niceties of a year of mourning, and then a year of half mourning doesn’t exist. The law, the government, having to make a living force you to face life and reality, when really it’s important, both mentally and physically to heal from loss.
“There really should be a law to allow people to mourn, not just the three days if it’s a close family member, that only allows you time to bury them then it’s back to work” she snorted in indignation at that thought. She went on a tirade about the luxury of the rich to afford to mourn but the poor don’t have that.
Then she looked at me and asked “How do you feel?” I said that now I felt lighter, that it felt like a weight had been removed, I found I could look at his photo Sunday morning, the one that I had boxed away years ago, because I couldn’t bear to look at it back then or even a few weeks ago. But now I find that I can.
She said that in time I’ll smile when I think of him and the time we had together, she told me that what Yoshi did for me Saturday was good, but now I had to be careful because I could get ill, come down with a cold again or worse another bout of the flu. She scolded me and rightly so, about walking in the cold the other night and by myself. “That was reckless, I’ve never known you to be that reckless.” Then she smiled, and said that if in that emotional position she might have done the same thing, but I was lucky. I am taking her advice and taking steps to at least make sure I could possibly avoid coming down ill.
After Brunch we took in some of the shops that were on the more popular part of town, I found a small Art Deco style frame that was perfect, in an antique shop, his photo fit it perfectly.
We drove around some more just wandering a bit, I wanted to soak up that sunshine , then eventually we drove home; I offered left over Chinese for dinner to Lillian, Yoshi insisted that I have it since I had barely eaten anything the night before. So with a fire built up in my fire place, Chinese food, and wine Lillian and I continued talking and talking. But she made sure I recorded Retro Night saying “I’m not missing ‘Mission Impossible’” I couldn’t argue with her.
As we drank our wine and talked, Lillian told me that everyone has to have one Great Love in their life, she told me that among teen girls they think their high school crush is the great love, but its’ not, “Merely Hormones” she said waving her wine glass, “Just hormones” she knew what I experienced, because her husband was her great love.
“Some people” she said “Will never know that great love, choosing Mr. or Ms. Alright and do their best to make it work, and most do, and a number of them don’t, some are lucky and their great love will be with them forever, like a team of horses working beautifully in harness, some will lose them, feeling empty, eventually finding safety in someone who can give them security and a form of love, they will love that person for being the helpmate in their lives, but that person will not be the great passion, that will be locked away forever, only taken out and thought about on lonely nights.”
She looked at me and winked, I knew she was a little drunk, but she still had her wits, “Pity those who will never know a Great Love” she said “They will always be reaching for something that is not within their grasp, always beyond their reach.”
She talked about the Portguese Fado songs, Fado meaning “Fate”. “I had an Uncle who was Portugues, I asked him about those songs he said that it was boy meets girl, boy loves girl, boy loses girl, boy cries about it; they have different styles for different areas, but it’s always about Fate” Lillian went on how although her Uncle and his wife her aunt were happy people, but her Uncle always seemed to have a bit of sadness about him, longing for something even he didn’t know. “Fado” she said “Fate”.
It grew late , the fire had burned low, almost out, I had Lillian fall a sleep on my bed, I slept on the camp cot next to her in the bedroom, I really needed to have her in my place that night, everything was all prepared for work the next day and I faced it much better.
I look at his picture, I can still see his eyes, no camera could ever capture that look, it is so fleeting but so magical, no actor can capture it, it comes from hidden depths within a person, and it is when a person is at their most vulnerable.
I remembered now I did see that look once more, but it was not directed to me. I took Yoshi and her Mother to the hospital a few years ago; Yoshi’s sister had given birth and her Mother couldn’t wait to see the baby, but Yoshi’s car was in the shop, so I gave them a lift, I didn’t want to intrude there were so many in the room, but the family insisted, then the nurse brought the baby in and gave it to Yoshi’s sister, the new mother, she held the baby for a minute and then handed the baby to her Mother, the baby’s Grandmother and said “Here you go, Grandma”
The minute the baby was in her arms, a transforming look appeared on Yoshi’s Mother’s face, it was “The Look.” It was unconditional, all encompassing, radiant, all loving. Why I didn’t break down then I don’t know, perhaps because it was in a different context, but now thinking back upon it, it was the same. It was Love, total unconditional Love.
Thinking on that, thinking on the support of my friends both in the past and the last few days, I know I’m very fortunate and very blessed. I may never experience that “Great Passion”, as Lillian calls it, ever again, but having experienced it I can see things, feel things better, the grief is there but now its revealed to me, and I will cry from time to time until it eventually heals.
I have new goals now, beyond our original plans, evolving, changing, even morphing. I find that each new day will bring new wonders, new adventures for me to experience, to ponder, to write about and I find myself giving “Thanks” to everyone I’ve been in touch with, no matter how briefly.
Kisses Sweet Things.