Archive for October, 2014

No man is an Island

I took flight at 3am, my hands and body shaking with fear and uncertaintey,as they had been for some time. I picked up my rucksack, feeling uncertain for it’s contents, that when I reached my secret destination, that I might not find clothes, lipstick and pajamas, that I might find all of the mementos of you that I had accidentally packed the night I ran away from home to go home and attempt to heal my broken soul, to the place, the home I once knew of a world that existed before you were a part of it, before you died and decimated my heart.
No one wanted me to make this journey, so to most, I kept it a secret, and I drove like a whirling dervish away from the excruciating pain I couldn’t compartmentalize. I set the music on shuffle, and as the hours ticked by, they only further solidified that I was on the correct journey. As I beared witness to the first lightning storm that held no thunder, during drenching downpours, I shook with fear, my hands trembling upon the steering wheel, yet in this time, I felt strength gathering. I knew I was on the correct path, to go to where you had not yet been a part of my life, as frightening trucks sprayed rain upon me and my tires shook harder than my hands, I knew this to be true.
Cosmic and appropriate tunes were my guide north, and they served me well. As day break came upon me, I found familiar ground, I knew this path, a strange comfort after all of these dusty years. I found my way to the waters edge, as we always had before, and I found the strength to throw my pack over my shoulder, book passage to what was once my home, before I had known your glorious love, and sit tight, despite my weary jitters, and finally give in.
So few knew where, or why, I wasn’t back home, and the few who did, I prayed deeply that they understood, that they could not mend this wound, and perhaps, I might never myself, but I had to attempt. You gave me so much, how could I not do so in your honor?
I rode the ferry, cloaked in songs of strength and hope, I hadn’t the slightest clue what could possibly await me. All I hoped for was the tiniest mend of the enormous hole your death left. To perhaps find the wonderment and hope this home once held. And as so may of your soul shaking gifts had presented the 17 years you gave to me, with love, you showed me something far more reaching, a healing I had never dared to hope or speak.
Thank you Ian Long, our dear love brought a multitude of love, closure, and hope in your passing, and you procured the greatest lesson, that in fact, you can go home again.


I stepped on one of my cat, Goos, tail, quite by accident, and then, despite my most sincere apologies, he hid from me for a few moments, not allowing me to to pet or hold him, as my voice, soft with sincerity and apologies, had attempted to coax him towards me, he looked at me as if to say, why did you do that?!? I didn’t like that!
And I thought dearly of our family Doctor, Dr. James Parker Jr., a very fine and tall man with rather large hands and a deep booming voice. He was so often our families salvation, forgetting to ask for office visit fees and handing out samples of medications so dearly needed from the pharmaceuitical reps, we paid him mostly in the fish and lobster our fishermans family currency allowed and then some, and a good deal of my mothers scrumptious jams and jellies as well!
One day, when I was about 6 or 7 years of age and not feeling well, as we were leaving, he very accidentally shut one of my pony tails in the office door, unleashing a torrent of tears, and much like Goo, I howled and sobbed and wrapped myself in my dearest cloak, my mother. He not only followed us to the door in a state of misery, butt all the way to our car, apologizing, completely heart broken for my wounded feelings. He felt so truly awful that for the only time, I was afraid of him, and would not look at him, despite his sincere pleas, and offers for ice cream floats at the soda fountain across the street from his office.
On our way home, my mother patiently continues to explain it was an accident, that Dr. Parker would simply never hurt anyone on purpose, and by the time we got home, I knew she was correct. Though I was mearly a child, I felt horribly guilty for having made him leave his office and his waiting patients in order to follow me outside to be certain that I was in fact okay. Even at such a tender age, I felt childish and so very foolish for having behaved so.
I am not certain that I ever actually apologized to him, and I truly wish I had., as he was a trusted and honored member of the community, and a dear friend to our entire family.He was a friend in such a magnificant way, his father even treated my grandparents, we were bonded in a very unique sense! We were one of the few white families he saw and treated, and yet, we never felt the slightest bit awkward. I hadn’t realized until much later in life that some found that odd, as we certainly hadn’t! Every time I hear Count basie, I think of this marvelous, colorful calendar he had in his office and the tales he told of this music, of how his office had this very specific and comforting medicinal smell that only his had.
Dr. James Parker Jr. passed away in my early 30’s, and as a community, we were all so very sad, it was the end of an era, the first time I had experianced this opulant, glorious, and tragic moment, it stays with me still, how so many were brought to broken tears over the passing of something that shall never be again. This was a Doctor who opened his doors at 6am, no sign in, it was always based on the honor system, and that was always honored, trusted. He had no nurse, he answered his own phone, and never made specific follow ups, he just said, let’s see how you feel next week. He was a true anomaly, he wasn’t there for riches, but for the goodness.
The town of Red Bank honored both him and his father in several ways, not only did they name a street after the both of them, but there is now also a clinic named in their honor, to attempt to replicate the goodness and kindness they gave to all who came to them, regardless of color or beliefs. Perhaps that was my first inspiration, to give and do, despite various differences, and that not only stuck with me, but blossemed, I am eternally in debt for such a thing. Words, and monetary value shall never truly encompass the impact on my soul. But perhaps, in saving a gaggle of feral kittens, earning their trust, and always showing patience and love when they fear I may have wronged them, perhaps in moments such s this, I may honor the memory of the man who first showed me at such a tender age what kindness, compassion, and love can do to repair the temporary tear of trust. Given time and effort, it can be rebuilt, of this, I am certain.