Recently one of my friends asked about the past best friends in my life and I told her how two of my last closest friends had died. She had a hard time with that.
One of those friends grew old enough for his big, ancient wool sweaters to hang off his scarecrow shoulders when I took him to doctor’s appointments. One died cooking breakfast for visitors at an inn, his gorgeous heart taking him away.
And this past Friday, another friend fell to the floor and never regained consciousness. She had done so much for me when we were Rotary International zone coordinators together and it still seems impossible that she’s gone.
I miss my friends all the time, but I always feel so lucky that I had them in my life. My friend cried about this. I didn’t. When I told my daughter about it she just said, “You’re resilient, Mommy. That’s okay.”
I’m not sure if she’s right, but I know those men, Grady and Don, are stories that I’ve pulled into my own heart, stories that I can pull out when I need them, remember, and bask in the warmth. Karen will be like that, too. But not all stories are quite like that. Not all of them have known endings.
About ten years ago for about a month, every night when I walked my dogs, there was this guy standing in front of my driveway.
This would be okay, but he never spoke.
Like Scotty the dog would run right towards him and the guy just stood there….
And I would say, “Oh! Sorry! My dog likes people. Too much.”
The man? He just still stood there….
Then I’d say, “Yeah … Sorry! Have a good night.”
The man? He just kept standing there.
I tried to figure out if he was doing normal standing there outside man things such as:
1. Talking on his cell phone.
2. Smoking a cigarette.
3. Mumbling to himself about the zombie apocalypse.
4. Debating whether or not Dancing With The Stars or The Voice is fixed.
But he wasn’t.
He was just standing there. He always turned and faced me too when I came out, but because it was so dark where I lived, I could never actually make out much of his face.
And then I blogged about him (on LiveJournal, it was awhile ago) and he never came back.
He became an unsolved mystery, a constant presence that just–poof!–disappeared.
There is more than logic at work at times like this. Our brains know the possibilities, the complexity of reasons why a man might be randomly standing at the end of a stranger’s driveway, might shirk away when she tries to communicate–how big, how far apart–realities can be. But there is also a beautiful kind of magic in the possibilities–the whispers of potential communication, the stages of a life, the stories of it.
I’ll never know. For some reason, a man stood at the end of my driveway every night, always when I walked my dogs, even when I varied the times. For some reason, my two best friends are not here, breathing, on this earth anymore. For some reason, I am resilient.
Night in rural Maine is dark and it’s hard to see people’s faces, but when tourists visit and they remember to look up, they see skies full of beauty, stars shining out, tiny bits of past lights, so many potential stories. You remember how little you can be and also how big, how the world can make you feel so isolated and also so connected. All at once.
Maybe everyone has a random man at the end of the driveway. If we notice him, maybe he notices us, too. If we see the outline of him and he doesn’t wave back, it doesn’t matter because he was there before he was gone. Just like we are. A story we might not never know the end of, but still a story that we can try to make big and beautiful.
The third book in Rosie and Seamus’s story of adventure, mystery, and death is here!
Sometimes the treasure is not worth the hunt . . . .
When a little boy goes missing on a large Maine island, the community is horrified especially almost-lovers Rosie Jones and Sergeant Seamus Kelley. The duo’s dealt with two gruesome serial killers during their short time together and are finally ready to focus on their romance despite their past history of murders and torment.
Things seem like they’ve gone terribly wrong. Again. Rosie wakes up in the middle of the woods. Is she sleepwalking or is something more sinister going on?
What at first seems like a fun treasure hunt soon turns into something much more terrifying . . . and they learn that things are not yet safe on their island or in their world. If they want to keep more people from going missing, Rosie and Seamus have to crack the puzzle before it’s too late.
To buy it, click here, and let me know! I might send you something!