Guest Author #5
I've always wanted to write a blog, but somehow life always got (and continues to get) in the way. I "dabble" in poetry and some personal diary stuff, but mostly I keep my inner-most thoughts to myself (and my therapist of course). For me, life has been a roller coaster ride - I've been up, down and even sideways at times. Several years ago I was fortunate enough to get to know someone very special, and unfortunate enough to lose him to cancer. I wrote a little story about the relationship which I'd like to share here. It is called "Unhappily Ever After."
Once upon a time, in the vast reaches of cyberspace, two people reached out and found each other in a place both assured the other they had never visited - a chat room. They hit it off from the first word and became great e-mail friends. Both were married, neither wanting to cause any hurt to anyone, but both were missing something in their lives. They talked about everything - life, work, children, feelings, desires, hopes, dreams - anything that came to mind. The extraordinary distance between them (she in USA - he in Sydney, Australia) didn’t make a difference in the feelings they were beginning to have for each other. After a while, they shared personal information and real names, phone numbers, etc. were revealed. With the time difference, he was arriving at his office as she was ending her day - but nevertheless, he called her every day when he arrived at work, just to hear her voice and inquire about her day. They wrote letters, sent cards, photographs and an ongoing barrage of e-mails. They chatted often online - her just awake in the early morning hours of her time - him, tired and sleepy in the late night hours of his time. And their friendship began to grow into something stronger. In his job, he traveled a great deal all over the world. Finally, he had cause to come to the USA on business. They talked about it, planned for it and arranged to meet after his business was finished. She arranged a five day “business” trip and the plan was set. She was so nervous and anxious about this meeting and didn’t know quite how she would react. She was to pick him up at the airport when he flew in from New York and was there waiting with anticipation. When he came through the gate and looked at her with those incredible blue eyes and smiled - all nervousness disappeared and she instantly went into his arms. They spent five glorious days totally wrapped up in each other - talking, making love and laughing together - he laughing at her southern accent, she laughing at his British/Aussie accent. It was as if they had known each other forever. Over the next three years he made several more visits to be with her - and the relationship was perfect. While both felt guilty about the affair, they both knew that they had found something truly special. On his last visit he told her he had not been feeling very well and was going to have some medical tests when he returned home. They talked at length about both making major changes in their lives and turning their worlds upside down to be together forever. Both promised to give it very serious thought, although in their heart, both knew it would never happen. He returned home, underwent testing and his doctor began treating him for what he thought was the problem - inflammation of the spine, problems with his back, etc. After several months of treatment, he was no better so specialized testing was ordered (finally!!). On a dreary day in October he sent her an e-mail to say he had a “large dose of cancer in his pancreas,” it had spread to his liver and was inoperable…. and she cried - alone - as she had told no one of the affair. A few days later he called her and they both cried. He was to begin chemo immediately, and it was decided that it was time he take someone into his confidence about the affair, someone who would keep her informed if he ever became too ill to contact her. So he told his long-time friend about her and how important she was to him. And the battle against the cancer began. He began the chemo and through all the sickness from it, he tried to continue to work part-time just to keep some form of normality in his life. He called and e-mailed when he was up to it, but he was continuing to grow weaker. She prayed, sent him “love and strength vibes” to help him get through it - he told her he would think about her and feel her in his arms to help take his mind off the terrible pain. She took long walks - found a nature trail she loved - a place of solitude to be alone, to cry and to think about this man she loved so dearly - as she had no one she could talk to about him. By March the doctors had told him that the chemo was not working and the tumor was continuing to grow. They gave him only weeks to live. He called her, they talked a long time, neither knowing that it would be the last time they would speak. A few days later he sent what would be his last e-mail, telling her of his love for her, asking her to always smell the roses and think of him and letting her know he would be in touch again soon - either personally or through his friend. By the following week he was bedridden and very ill. His friend visited him often and then called her with reports of his condition and she would send her love. Finally, in late May, the friend called her to say her beloved had died at 1:00 a.m. that morning - she was devastated, couldn’t control her tears. She made excuses at her work of feeling sick and left for the day - to go to her place of solitude and weep. For she knew, that although she was dying inside, she had to maintain a normal appearance at her job and at home. The friend called her every day for the next few days just to make sure she was o.k. - she said she was fine, that she was glad his pain had ended, and she would always love him. She had to find her own way of grieving and dealing with her pain that was eating away at her - as she thought about it, she thought of their “roses” conversations and how appropriate that would be - so she began to always keep fresh roses on her desk, to remind her of him and to remind her to keep her promise to make time in her life to “smell the roses” and make time for herself. They sit next to a little sign she made that says “Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.” She closes her eyes, remembers his smile and is comforted by its warmth. The friend still calls her from time to time - he promised he would always do that - just to inquire about how she is doing and to see if she needs anything - and she is thankful for this. She has moved on with her life now, but this man she loved is always a part of her, in her heart and often on her mind. She knows how very lucky she was - to have found that one true soulmate in her life and to have loved him so dearly, if only a little while………………and she lived unhappily ever after.
This is an invitation for anyone and everyone to post a entry of their own on my journal, Vagabond Journeys http://vagabondjourneys.blogspot.com/.
The end of the year holidays are soon upon us and since it is a time for celebrations, remembrances, resolutions and plans for the future I know that people have a lot to say.
Not to take away from the postings on your journals, but to add to the joy of my own celebrations is why I invite you to write for mine.
I want to read what your thoughts are about this magical time of the year. This invitation is open to everyone: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Agnostics, Atheists and the Uncertain.
Tell me your thoughts on Chanukah, Christmas, Ashura, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, New Years Eve. or any subject you associate with this holiday season.
There are no limits in regard to length. The only limitation is that, for reasons so far unexplained to me, my blog does not take photographs, animations, videos or pictures of any kind. I deal in words.
Please accept my invitation. Send your entry to my email address email@example.com I will copy and paste it into my journal and it will be displayed promptly. You may sign your name or not as you wish, and you may leave a link to your blog or your email or not, as you wish. I will do NO editing or censoring. Eloquence is not necessary, mind or heart or both is all.
All are welcome. Admission is free.