02 September 2016

The Return

“Something told him that something was coming to an end. Not the world, exactly. Just the summer. There would be other summers, but there would never be one like this. Ever again.” ~ Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
After twenty years, I finally returned to Termoli.  It felt like a homecoming of sorts.  It was bitter and it was sweet.  I regret that I waited so long to return.  After all, A passed away ten years ago.  I wanted to come then to pay my respects and to say goodbye, but life and situations got in the way, and this year was the first time that I saw a clear path back to this magical place.  It was as if all the stars aligned just so that I could make this journey.

His parents met me at the airport.  I saw them as soon as I exited the terminal.  I saw the love and happiness in their faces, and I felt the love and joy in their warm kisses and embrace.  We all cried tears of happiness, tears of pain, and tears for the loss of A, our beloved, who connected us then and who still continues to connect us all.

We swam in the sea every morning, and we dined al fresco in the evenings.  After dinner, we walked amidst ancient fortresses and breathed in salty sea air.  We drank strong cups of espresso, and ate glorious fresh food from the sea.  The sun was strong and beamed upon us every day.  At night, the skies were dark in the way that made the stars seemed brighter.    

I will always remember A.  He will forever live in my heart.  Without him, I never would have known of this beautiful place, and I would never have had the honor to meet his beautiful family and friends.  He is what brought me to Termoli.  I have tasted a slice of heaven, and I know he is in his own personal heaven watching over all of us.

21 June 2016

Twenty

“When you loved someone and had to let them go, there will always be that small part of yourself that whispers, "What was it that you wanted and why didn't you fight for it?” ~ Shannon L. Adler, 300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage
My phone vibrates to alert me that I received a text message.  I check, and it is another message from him. It is the tenth one.  This and the previous nine remain unanswered.

There was a time when the very thought of him made my heart beat faster, when the sun seemed to shine more brightly when he was around me, and when the nights would not feel so long because of him.

But now my mind is indifferent, and my heart no longer beats more quickly.  When I see his name come up on my phone screen, I sigh heavily.  
    
My phone vibrates again.  Eleven messages.  Twelve.  Thirteen.

He let me go once.  He did not love me when my heart was beating only for him.  Fourteen.

He allowed the sun to go down on me, and for the darkness to drown me.  Fifteen.

I cried myself to sleep on countless lonely nights.  Sixteen.

He left me for dead in the vast sea of my loneliness.  Seventeen.  I brought myself back to life.  Eighteen.

The pain I felt because of him made me stronger.  Nineteen.

I learned to value myself and trust that in the end, no matter how much I lost, I was going to be ok. 

My phone vibrates again.  Twenty unanswered text messages from him.

"Hi," I finally text back.

14 June 2016

Tragedy and Miracles

“It strikes me profoundly that the world is more often than not a bad and cruel place.” ~ Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
I woke up Sunday morning to hear of the tragedy that happened in Orlando, Florida.  It is the worst mass shooting in American history.  My heart aches for all the victims and their families.  It is just so senseless and tragic.  Events like this make me want to give up on the human race.



On Saturday morning, G and I had brunch with my old neighbor, S, who moved to Ohio last summer.  She came back to NYC to visit with her two sons, and her one month old baby daughter.  I had not even realized that she was pregnant, let alone that she had given birth.  She had to undergo fertility treatments to conceive her boys, and so this baby was completely unexpected.  She said that she had thought that she was going through pre-menopause when her cycles suddenly stopped, but a visit to her doctor confirmed that she was instead pregnant.  Imagine that -- her fertility doctors had sworn that she would never be able to conceive without medical intervention, and yet here she is now.  It just goes to show that the human body is a wonder and a mystery and that sometimes miracles do happen.

After brunch, G and I went to Bowne Park in Queens.  The park has a pond that is home to families of turtles.





And apparently it is also home to people who know how to have a good time, as evidenced by this sidewalk chalk advertisement.  G actually wanted to ring the number.  I had to explain to her that it was not real.  Oh, how I love the innocence of children.  Later on, I got to thinking about what her nine year old mind considers "a good time."  Was she thinking that if we rang the number that little ponies and puppies would magically appear?  I should ask her later.