I am sitting at my laptop in a hotel room overlooking the dawn on another coast. The palm trees here are impossibly tall, and the sun is not where it’s supposed to be. Ha! We’ve been visiting family and friends in Southern California for the last week, and I’m overcome with gratitude for these people and this place. (I’m actually a little teary as I write this.) I spent a decade of my life here (the ’80s) and formed friendships so indelible, that even my neglect is powerless to erase.
I planned this trip with this goal in mind: to reconnect. I have been so humbled and inspired by the response of my friends, some I haven’t seen in twenty years or more. Thank you so much for taking the time to brave the LA traffic (and rain?!) to get together with me. I love you all—Melendy, Pattie, Keala, Linda, Kimberly, Susan, Caren, and (hopefully) Jinny.
I’m republishing this story—the third in a series of three—that I wrote last year, with this suggestion: Do whatever it takes to be a friend, to rekindle old friendships or deepen existing ones. Social media is a bridge perhaps, but will never be the Island itself—the lovely warm respite—that true face-to-face (not face-time to face-time) communion offers. Thank you my friends.
Youser Manual, Part Three
I found a letter in an old keepsake box—a love letter actually. Across the top of the single sheet of notebook paper, in careful cursive, was the salutation: To Sharla with love. My heart fluttered a little to read those words. The letter was dated March 10, 1975. We were sixteen.
It is not hard to recall this love from my adolescence. It was a good love, a strong love, a true love. It is not hard to remember this love because it was an enduring love—and to this day remains good, and strong and true. In fact, we had lunch together, this love and I, on Saturday. Along with my husband and son. Continue Reading