Give me one more chance at the midway….

I hate endings.  I read slowly as I see the remaining pages dwindle in a good book.  I am sad when the credits roll at a compelling movie.  And the curtain coming down leaves me waiting anxiously to see if there is another act…or an encore…or…

Parting?  Sweet sorrow?  Who says?  I see nothing sweet about leaving people who have become a part of my life, no matter how short the time, if they were entertaining, stimulating and simpatico.  My happy place is in the depth and breadth of relationships in a blending of cultures.  It is asking one more question or hearing one more story that gives insight .  It is the warm glow of recognizing the face of a familiar person with whom contact is enlightening and pleasurable.

We met a few of these great companions on a cruise last week.  And now they are gone.  A bit of my mind is still reliving the compelling stories, hilarious moments and rich comaraderie.   I’m keep listening for the rich accents of different worlds.  My heart is a preoccupied with treasured connections that transcend age, culture, religion and education.

I’m sure there are all sorts of psychological descriptions for who and how I am.  The truth is that I cannot delete the email address for the young woman I spent time with in Mexico three years ago.  I wonder what she is doing with her life.  Is she continuing to be a chef or is she switching to her love of music.  Has she found a lover who values her or is she still searching for that special friend and lover wrapped into one.

And what about the ladies on the train in Italy.  Can I ever toss the slip of paper with the telephone numbers of two women who struggled along with me to communicate? Our lack of common language was trumped by a heartfelt desire to know each other and share our lives.

I travel to Arachova each time I return to Greece because of the loving hospitality of a woman who invited us to dinner in her tiny kitchen and served us a simple meal of tomatoes, feta cheese, French fried potatoes and retsina from a plastic Pepsi bottle.

Although I won’t see her again, I clearly remember the Mexican woman who stopped on the beach to sell me a rose and stayed to exchange stories about children and life.

I collect memories of people.  I imagine seeing them again.   I would love to spend cozy evenings hearing about their lives.  It would be exciting to float rapids together or listen to music under the stars with a bottle of wine and a blanket.  This is my sense of the fullness of life.

I may not remember which islands we visited.  I won’t separate one beach from another.  But I’ll remember a celebratory dinner with the warm night air and sea as background for animated conversation shared with kindred spirits.  I’ll remember laughing until my cheeks ached as we talked and drank Margaritas on Christmas Day with the rain pelting on the deck and new friends making it a Holiday.

Damn!  Where are they now? I miss them.


(Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield)

One comment

  1. I first heard this song sung by the great Jane Oliver, someone who wraps her arms around you w/her choice of music and voice. The impact it had on me was immediate as I lived through an acute but chronic disease. I still am affected by the song to this day and am grateful for all the people, places, and things in my life. Thanks for your words and the chance for me to once again look back and forward w/great enjoyment.


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