Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Old Hotel Dance or You're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy.

 I feel a deep connection to Culver City. When I first moved to Los Angeles I worked in a shoe store at the Fox Hills Mall . Downtown Culver City was a dump. Many beautiful old buildings were abandoned and had been taken over by the homeless or used by street people, drug dealers and gangs.

Culver City was founded in 1917 by Harry H. Culver. Legend has it Harry saw a beautiful woman named Lillian Roberts in a pale yellow sundress and a big straw hat standing on a train platform in the Culver City area. He was many years her senior and did not approach her. A friend of his, who knew Miss Roberts arranged for him to meet her.

Harry posed as the limo driver for his friend and his wife and they invited Lillian to join them for a night on the town. The couple sat in the back seat putting Lillian in the front seat next to Harry. He spent the evening charming her and soon they began to date. (they later married) Harry built the Culver Hotel so he had a reason to stay in town and court Lillian.

 The Culver Hotel is built on land that was originally home to the first theater in Culver City called The Merratta. I have always been able to feel that old thespian energy when near it.

It was first called The Hotel Hunt and the name later changed to The Culver Hotel.

 It is a wedge shaped revival style building made of brick and stone. It is 6 stories high and has 200 windows. In 1924 it was considered a sky scrapper on the " shortest main street in the USA".

 The first time I saw it I was smitten, but it most would think I was mad to be taken with this deteriorated heap of bricks and cement . Clothing hanging on cloths lines out the window and trash dumped everywhere. An old stained couch out front that you could only imagine who and what slept on. It would have been a great location for the Broadway Play " Hot'l Baltimore".
 Nothing like it's illustrious past when it was once the residence of movie stars from MGM. It is famous for housing all of the "little people" during the filming of " The Wizard of Oz'. Tales of secret hallways and wild parties can not be confirmed but it is said these "little people" partied hearty!

 Now questionable characters were leaning up against the building with Thunderbird bottles clustered at their feet. It's beauty had substantially faded but seeing it through rose colored glasses, I could envision it's glamorous beginnings.

My roommate at the time and I were searching for an apartment. As a joke I brought him to this relic with serious flop house appeal in this oh so seedy part of town and said "Isn't it beautiful lets live here!".

 He looked at me with wide eyes and before he could speak I gleefully exclaimed "Got ya!" and  started laughing. He also laughed with relief. But truth is something in it called to me. It called to a place deep inside so far back that it went to a time before I was in this physical body. Maybe it was in my DNA as my Mother loved all things to do with the "movies" and spent much of her childhood at the theater blissfully escaping her depression era life in films.

Harry H. Culver died in 1946 and from the 1950's to the 1990's due to real estate troubles it fell into  a state of disrepair.

The Culver hotel has had many owners. Truth or urban legend, I don't know for sure, alleges that Charlie Chaplin owned it and sold it to John Wayne for $1 in a poker game. Red Skelton is also said to have owned it at one time. I can how ever confirm that Lou Catlett bought it and spent his life savings restoring it.

The hotel only had one bathroom for each floor making it most inconvenient and Lou brought it up to code and up to date. Mr. Caplett went bankrupt but The Culver Hotel was saved. This seems to be the fate of the hotel for it's entire existence.

When I first saw it in flop house conditions it was the early1980's . Somewhere in the 1990's Sony made it's head quarters in Culver City and breathed new life into the whole area. It was once again restored but still carries the look and  feeling of a slightly faded rose. Today it is a family owned business and the shinning star of Culver City. It is listed in The National Register of Historic Places.

Just last night I had dinner in Culver City on a tree lined street with twinkling lights. It still feels magical and it still calls to something deep in my soul.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Poets Dance or A Woman in Full Bloom

Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry days
till a honey haired man with seas and skies and dungarees in his eyes
stepped up to my cash register and instead of ordering ice cream ordered me.
                                           author unknown ( just can't remember who)

I thought of this poem from my teen age years today. It just came to my mind from the past after years of not thinking of it. Something that sounded so romantic to me as a teenage girl who had worked all summer behind an ice cream counter. So today I'm posting a woman's poem. One I wrote for my 50th birthday.Enjoy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Fame Dance or Is It name dropping if you don't know someone is famous?

I was born in Chicago and we moved to Las Vegas when I was six years old. In 1980 I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actress.

Many people I knew growing up have had great success, sometimes temporary, sometimes lasting. My life experiences have put me in relationships with people whose names are easily recognized.

 I never really have had the kind of success that is celebrated with more than a cake you made in your own kitchen.

I have friends and clients who have won the Tony, Oscar, Emmy, Soap opera Award, for their talent. I also have amazingly talented friends and clients whose name you would not know who have never won 2 bucks in the Lotto.

 What makes me a good therapist has nothing to do with the bodies I work on and everything to do with my technique. Just because someone I work with is famous does not make me more of anything at all. Most of the time I don't know my client is famous. Someone else ends up telling me.

 I had a client for a couple years and knew her only by her first name. One of my co- workers got all excited when she saw her and whispered " Do you know who that is?" I said "'m clueless." The room broke out in laughter. It was Alicia Silverstone, the actress who first found fame in the movie "Clueless". Who knew? Not me .

 I just knew her as Alicia. To me she was a lovely young woman who cared much for animals, my soft old worn out sheets, and the smell of Jergens lotion. She said she always thought of her Grandma when she came to see me because I smelt like Jergens lotion.

I felt like a fool for not knowing she was famous, she how ever loved it. She said she felt comfortable with me because she could just be herself. We made an agreement, she would always just be Alicia to me. Alicia, the lady with the big heart and a champion of kindness to animals.

One of my dearest friends and clients is the wife of an epic film star. Marie ( not her real name. We picked that name yesterday. It is her middle name. She said I could use her real name but I believe public people deserve private lives.)

Marie and I have so much in common. We are both from the Midwest , both started out actresses, both love to take pictures, both wish we were thinner... the list goes on and on. Our ages are different, I'm 53 and she is 87. But the essence of our friendship comes from time and love shared.

Many of my stories will be about my exchanges with Marie. She has been one of the most powerful friendships I have ever been blessed by. My love for this woman is deep, like a family member.

We have experienced mystical happenings that most people would not believe. Life has proven to us that fame and celebrity do not protect you or keep you from the painful lessons of the evolution of human existence. It doesn't make love better, it doesn't make life more precious, rich or poor, famous or obscure, when cut we all bleed.

 We brought each other through the one of the hardest times in our lives. Her husband and my Mother were doing the end of life dance at the same time. They both had been very seriously ill for a long time.

I was grateful to be massaging her several times a week, it gave me a reason to keep moving forward and she was grateful for the loving touch. The healing conversations during those massages, the truth we shared ,the tears we shed, go beyond what I can explain with words on this page. It is called friendship.

One time during a massage Marie had fallen asleep as often happens. Her husband who was ill was also sleeping in the bed next to where we were. I was quietly massaging her when, her husband began to speak, "Are you enjoying your massage darling?"
"Oh yes, it feels so good."
" I'm so glad, I want you to feel good."
" Ohhh, I love you."
" I love you too."

I sat in silence, I was witnessing a miracle. My heart was pounding. Her husband, because of his illness, was hardly able to speak at all when he was awake. But his voice was clear and strong . He was filled with the power of presence we would all know from his time on the silver screen. As I write this the same tears that wet my cheeks that day are present. The implications of this event changed my beliefs about life.

I learned a most valuable lesson that day. Illness effects our body but does not touch our essence,our soul, who we really are inside. The bond between two spirits, the iron solid love these two people shared will never be broken. These two souls are so connected that not sleep, illness, or death could get in the way of this man expressing his love and concern for his life partner.  Love knows only life.

When the massage was finished I woke her from her sleep. It took everything I had to collect the tiniest bit of professionalism.
" Marie, Do you remember your conversation with your husband? I think you two were talking in your sleep."
" No." she let out a cry, " What did he say?!"
I repeated the conversation to her.
" Oh , I wish I been awake!" she exclaimed.
" Oh , Marie you were, you were awake in the real world not this one filled with the illusion of illness and separation. See what this means, you will never be apart. Not illness or sleep could stop the dance of love between you two."

She got up and went to his bed. She took his hand and began to talk to him . I slipped out the door quietly giving these two public people a private moment.

A couple weeks later On February 20th in the morning hours my sweet dear Mother left her physical body and became pure spirit. That afternoon 2 dozen of the most beautiful white roses were delivered to my door. I did not have to open the card to know who they were from. Remembering that day gave me comfort.

A couple weeks went by and Marie's husband joined my Mother in the world of spirit. That great mystery of life after life. When I saw her a few days later and asked her how she was doing she said " I was in the car driving to an appointment. I felt an odd feeling. People were walking on the sidewalks. Streetlights were changing colors. I was surprised, the world was just going on. I feel like time has stood still but it hasn't. For me the world stopped the moment my husband died."

I can not imagine the loss you experience when your husband of 60 or more years passes away. Her words describe it perfectly. The world just stands still. Perhaps to get our attention or to help us isolate this moment of grief with reverence. What ever the point, it does keep on going.

The powerful presence ,her husband, will teach us much in the days to come. His communications from "the other side" are no more subtle than he was in life. He paints in broad strokes so we know for sure it is him and so she knows for sure she is not now and never will be with out him.

I am going to ask one favor, when jokes fly about Lindsay Lohan or you see a picture of a movie star without their makeup, remember that they are people just like you and me. It may not seem so but you can help with just one compassionate thought.  We can explain it away or justify by saying they ask for it or that it is the price of fame, I sure would not want to have all my mistakes on the evening news. I'm lucky I don't have to pay the fame price.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Apartment Dance or The Alarming State of Community

 My home is up a flight of stairs to an old 20's apartment tucked in the back of a four plex in the heart of Los Angeles. I live in what is called a Beverly Hills adjacent. Which means I'm not really in Beverly Hills but I'm so close you can smell the botox. LOL

 I have lived in the same apartment for 21 years. I moved in October of 1989 shortly after getting married. When my husband and I separated he moved to The Valley and I kept the apartment. I am the only original tenant still living here today.
 The building was purchased by a woman who had cancer. She was a nurse at U.C. L. A. and she bought the building for her four children. An apartment for each one them. She wanted to make sure her children always had a place to live. Her daughter was the last family member to live here. After winning a big law suit she sold the building and moved to Las Vegas.
Well she has given me a home for 20 years. I have seen many come and go in that time and each one passing through has made a contribution to my life. Sometimes a friend and sometimes a lesson in patience but each time someone who has taught me something of value.
I had a friend come to visit shortly after I moved in. He could not believe what he was seeing when he got here because he had been a close friend to the husband of the daughter who lived in my apartment. He said he would think of me every time he came to visit.He knew I would love all of the little 20's details. We both agreed I was destined to live here.
All of the old world charm has been kept pretty much intact. The vintage features have been chipped away at a bit. The new owner took out the flag stone walk way, which broke my heart, but had to be done for insurance purposes.

They " paved  paradise and put up a parking lot" when the backyard turned into a building with three more apartments and a garage. It was explained to me that grass and trees although lovely were not a good source of income. It took a long time to get over the loss and had thoughts of moving many times but could never say good bye to this place where I feel so at home.
The best friend I have had here was a 100 year old Chinese Elm that completely cover my bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen window.We saw families of possums living in the tree every year. Birds were abundant. My cats would climb the tree and enter the apartment from the bedroom window. I felt like I lived in a tree house.

 The bathroom has pale yellow and green tile. A bathtub and a stall shower with two windows that looked out into the inside of my beautiful friend ,the Chinese Elm. She was thick and lush but from the tub you could see the moon in the sky while you soaked away the cares of the day.

One Christmas we got stuck here due to weather conditions and ended up spending Christmas at home. I went back home to my Mother's house every year for Christmas. It made me sad to not be waking up with Mom in the kitchen making coffee but as I have said before every loss has a gift.

When I woke up early in the morning looked out the window, the tree with bare branches was covered with morning doves. Precious little couples ,two by two on the branches. So many birds it looked like it had feathers for leaves. I woke my husband, not a morning person, and he was just as taken by the sweetness of this moment as I. We held eat other and watched the snuggling couples on the branches for quite some time. Nature had sent the balm for my disappointment and soon I was in the kitchen making coffee preparing to celebrate.
We have a cat door at the bottom of the back stairs and over the years the possums have figured this out. Many of the other animals in the neighborhood have found the dry food dish on the kitchen floor. City animals find a way to get what they need.

My dining room at the time was a sewing room. A place I went to create when I was still working as a costume designer. Under a bench in my room were little scraps of fake fur I had rescued from the rubbish when I was working on "Fivel Goes West" at the Universal Studios Tour.

I noticed a scrap of fur that I had never seen before. I reached down to get a closer look and it hissed. I screamed. It was a baby possum. My husband came running in to see what all the commotion was about. The little baby way more frighten than I ran to a collection of over sized Christmas  nutcrackers standing on the living room floor and stood up at attention next to them trying to blend in . This little soldier was so darling. Where was the camera? Who knew?! Now how do we get him safely out.

 Possums have long claws and big teeth even when they are babies. My husband put on a leather jacket and oven mitts. His humanitarian armour in place he picked up the little guy and put him back outside.

Calm had been restored, regrets that we could not find the camera gotten over and I went back to sewing. I reached again to get the fake fur and he was back! How did he get in? I had closed the cat door and locked it causing the resident cats to become discussed and retreat to the closet. My husband came back and repeated the oven mitt routine grumbling about how the hell did it get back in house.

The baby possum became a member of the family and ate in the kitchen for most of the winter. The cats never seemed to mind. I did how ever notice that sometimes he was light brown and sometimes he looked much cleaner, a light buff color. I wondered how he would get so dirty and then clean up. I was not well versed on the behavior of possums.

Next door was a large lot with a little craftsman house on it. No one had ever lived in the house while we lived here. We heard the lady had been moved to a rest home and although her children wanted to sell it she would not allow it till her passing. 

One day I saw them moving her things out and was told she had passed away. Shortly after her passing the land was sold and they tore down the little house. A new condo building was being built in place of the single family dwelling that had been there since the 20's. This was so sad. Along with this news came notification that the developer would be taking down the Chinese Elm.

I flipped out! She was real to me. She was a dear friend. She was home to the city woodland creatures. Squirrels, birds, my cats, the possums. At this time there were at least a dozen humming bird nests in the trees. I begged. I tried to find a law to save the tree. I cried. Everyone kept saying how sorry they were but no one was budging an inch.

I have a drama ridden version of this story where I hang on to the tree and they pry me off. It is not true. The truth is I stood in my bathrobe and watched sobbing like a little girl till I could not stand it any more. Some of the workmen laughed at me and some seemed to have remorse.

That night when my husband got home we went outside and stood by the stump that was left in the yard. The cats had followed us down to see what was up. We could not believe what happened next. On the fence dividing the two yards sat two baby possums. A buff colored one and a light brown one. They were looking up in the sky where the tree had been and back at us. All along there had been two. We all seemed to know change had come and we must let go.

In the end the Elm tree wins. They have never been able to dig that stump out. And on the top of the stump is new growth. The possums moved to a tree in the front yard. But no longer come in to eat. So today while I am unnerved by a car alarm going off in the garage of the condo building, I am telling the story of experiencing nature in the city. Man and all his toys may disrupt but will never defeat nature or the Elm tree in my sweet unchoreographed life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Girl Friend Dance / Does My Butt Look Big in These Jeans?

The Girl friend dance is a tricky dance. I crave the company of women and sometimes run like hell from it. The realization that every complaint I have about my girlfriends is something I do or have done myself is heartening.

The greatest support and love to be found in the world has sometimes come from women. So has the deepest judgement and betrayal.

At the moment I am on the outs with one of my best girlfriends. In the modern world that would be BFF or bestie. I don't know what those letters stand for but it means she is an important member of my posse.

Most of my best friends in life have been men. I think somewhat like a man. This said, I can not avoid the fact that although I only have a little left, estrogen still is present in my biological structure.I need female friends.

The hurts of my youth, the parties I did not get invited to, the best friends who out grew me and made other best friends, the teams where I was picked last, oh dear, the drama of girlfriends, have these things colored my friendships today?

I can't stand these shows about the real house wives because I see them pointing up the pit falls of female friendships with out any redemption or lessons learned. I wonder if I have learned the girl friend dance?

 I want to blame estrogen for my transgressions. Estrogen can bring the crazies at any point in life. I say "My whores are moaning", hormones we are told can rage. When this happens LOOK OUT! The truth is I am responsible for my actions. I can be a solid friend, loving and thoughtful and I can throw you under the bus when my feelings get hurt or I get pissed off.

 I think the core problem is control. I want it. Not just over myself but over you. Sometimes this little devil named control comes disguised in "only wanting to protect you." or "someone just had to tell you the truth".

Men have learned that the answer to " Does my butt look big in these jeans?" is ALWAYS " No honey, you have a terrific behind." They hear the shot gun cock when you ask that question. But girl friends stand strong in needing to be the one to tell you "the truth".

Is it ever OK to not tell the truth? Do you really want to hear that those jeans are two sizes to small and the muffin top is unattractive on a women your age? Do you really want to hear your girl friend tell you that even though he has served his time and has been completely drug free for six months he is still not boyfriend material? Is it OK to say," No matter what you feel, if he hasn't called and has not asked you out he just is not interested?"  Well, yes and no.

At this point in my life I am still working on knowing when and how to share my authentic opinion. It is a dangerous dance. One wrong step and a tempest in the tea pot.Feelings are involved yours and mine. Our hopes, dreams, and fears are involved, yours and mine. Buttons get pushed, yours and mine. I ask myself the question what is kind and what is just my projection based on my own set of circumstances?

This is what I have come to today. Opinions, even for someones "own good", are still just my opinion based on my experiences. If it lacks compassion keep my mouth shut. That is worth saying twice. If it lacks compassion don't go there. The need to control another persons experience never has a good end. It may hurt or it creates dependency.

 Why is so difficult to watch our girlfriends make mistakes and learn life lessons without trying to control the experience? I know in my case that what I want is someone to stand beside me while I learn life lessons and bring the peanut butter cookies if they were really tough to learn. I want my friends to trust my path, listen to my stories, encourage me to cry if I need to, and help me laugh again when I'm done. I want them to ask important questions that, when I answer them, help me to hear my own truth.

If my butt was big when I put the jeans on, it still will be big! LOL Accepting and loving myself completely is an inside job. No outside stuff will ever be enough to replace a good relationship with myself.

I commit today to being the kind of friend I want. It is a big order but so worthwhile. Being my best self does not mean I need to solve all your problems. It means I see in you everything you need to figure them out. I remind you that something in you knows exactly what to do. I don't fall into judgement, I stand in love.
To my bestie, I am sorry, I love you, how are the Dodgers doing?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Computer Dance and the Nature of Things.

   I think in colors and textures not HTML code.  Don't get me wrong I love the computer and love the world it has opened up to me. This said I can get a real potty mouth trying to figure out how to do things.

I miss spelled my URL for this blog when creating it. I need spell check for my entire life. Changing it was simple once I found out how to do it. But figuring that out took hours of reading. AHHHHHHHHH!

F$#K! That was the word of the month last month.It just rolled off my tongue so easy. LOL This month I wanted to be all love and light BUT learning new things on the computer can take me to a dark place. I am working on looking at time spent on one " stupid feature "as a computer lesson but much coffee gets consumed and many cigarettes get smoked! Well at least it didn't take me to the dark place of cookie consumption!

OK sweet lesson.......How to up load a slide show from Picasa Web Albums to Google Blogger.   It would seem natural that you would click on the "slideshow gadget" in blogger and just place the code in the spot provided. Not so.....but the album will appear to be working just fine when you do this in the upload window. It just won't appear on your blog.

What you actually need to do is select the " HTML gadget" and load it in that feature. Works great. I, how ever, spent two hours learning how to do this and need psychiatric care! Not really. Well that depends on who you ask.

I think the best way to get to know me is to see my little L.A. apartment where I have lived for 21 years. The colors and textures speak volumes about who I am what I love. It's a rainbow dance. It's a dance with everyone I have ever loved. I have things in my home that have lived with me since childhood. I'm a collector. I love my "things" but I accept that things are temporary.

I came to this belief when I was a young woman living with my best friend Marguerite. She was on the phone and pulled the phone card hard because it was stuck (remember phone cords). A loud crash followed and one of the crystal wine decanters my mother gave me came smashing down into tiny pieces.

When I came running out of the bedroom to find her crying over the pieces on the floor. " I'm so sorry. It was an accident." she cried.  " I know you loved that decanter".

Lesson number two.....People and their feelings are more important than things. Things will come and go. The material world including our bodies will some day go. My idea changed on that day because it hurt to see someone I loved cry more than it hurt to say good bye to a thing. Accidents happen . That's life.
We cleaned up the glass and had a glass of wine. I think we actually drank right out of the bottle as a sort of kiss my tush to the whole decanter idea.

Marguerite is still my best friend some 30 years later. This is a friendship that is certainly not made out of glass. We have seen more than we should have and survived intact.

My hope is I will befriend the computer. It is still a love hate relationship but that can change. Yep, that can change.

Enjoy the slide show! Thanks for day two.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Dance of Life .

Monday August 9, 2010

The past couple of years have been ones where tough lessons got learned.
My Mom passed away and at the same time my life long best girl friend was diagnosed with "terminal" cancer. In some ways that woke me up and in some ways it shut me down.
In the month following these events many people in my life passed away. I call it making their transition. I don't believe in death. I believe the physical body simply no longer houses the spirit but that spirit never dies.
I am not sure what happens next and accept this as a mystery.
A long time client of mine (I'm a massage therapist) also made her transition. She was a great lady, 96 years old, I had worked with her twice a week for 7 years. A deep bond between the two of us had been created.
I felt the personal loss, although it was not a surprise, she told me once she would live to be 96 years old and then she would be done. Her Mother died at 96 and that was how long she wanted to live.
Her name was Renee. She was beautiful, dancing eyes and rich flaxen blond hair. She looked good for any age. The blush never left her rose.
She lived in Beverly Hills for most of her life and had her own business as "The Florist" to the stars. She told me once," I did the flowers for two of Elizabeth Taylor's weddings." She was proud of this fact and said it with a laugh in her voice.
Renee did not talk much, she was very hard of hearing. Her daughter once bought her a set of state of the art $5000.00 hearing aides. She could not stand them! She told me they made everything to loud. She " lost" them soon after this conversation.
Renee moved to a beautiful retirement hotel from the grand Bel Air home she had lived in for over 30 years.
This was not your average retirement home. It was stunning. Many old movie stars also lived there. It looks like a grand old hotel. She had her own apartment that was carefully decorated with all her favorite things by her only daughter Jackie.The dining area looked like a wonderful bistro. The lobby was decorated gloriously for every holiday. It is an elegant place.
Although her daughter and son in law visited every Sunday for dinner and became the toast of the retirement community, serving fine wine at dinner and befriending everyone, Renee just wanted to go home.
They told her she had to stay in this hotel that work was being done on her home but she knew better. She told me " All the people here are old...pffft." I had to look away but she knew I was laughing. She rolled her eyes at me. She never thought of herself in terms of being old.
Lesson number one....your words may lie but your energy field always tells the truth. Renee could not hear very well so her ability to read energy had become keen. I don't think she knew she was doing this, hearing with her heart the truth, but she was always spot on and could not be lied to convincingly. I chose to always tell her the truth. We both knew she was not ever going back to her house and it was never mentioned again.
Renee's daughter had survived cancer. The last winter of Renee's life her daughter's cancer returned. Her son in law felt he had to tell her and the news has a huge affect on her.
When I arrived for my regular Monday appointment with Renee, the caregivers told me she would not get out of bed.
When I went into Renee's room and there she was in bed just staring up at the ceiling. She needed a shower and I was the only one who could get her in one. I attribute that to my being just a tiny bit more stubborn than she .
I begged, coaxed, tried everything, nothing worked. I gave up. I think I was worn down by the passing of my Mother. I was so tired of making people do things they didn't want to do for their own good.
One last try, " Please, you will feel better after."
She yelled at me to get out , that I was nothing to her, don't come back, she didn't need me and never did. she said " You're fired."
This hit me hard, my professional demeanor lifted and I got mad. I told her that was no way to treat someone who had cared for her for seven years like she was her very own Mother, that she had no right at this point to treat me like the hired help, we had past that concept a long time ago. I started to sob, I told her, " My mother died this week, I wish I had been home taking care of my own Mother but instead I was here with you, how dare you throw me away like an old pair of shoes."
"Your Mother died?'
"uh huh" Tears like rivers on my cheeks.
The room got quiet. I collected myself and looked down at her in the bed. If she wouldn't get up I was going in.
So I crawled into bed with her.
Renee was not a very expressive woman. She always had a cool business like demeanor, she put her hand on my arm and we both cried a little.
I told her I was sorry for losing my cool. She just patted my arm. We didn't really need words , we knew. I told her I hoped her stay on this planet had been a good one. I told her I loved her and was grateful for the time we had together. I told her it was such a shame she was leaving before she ever got a wrinkle,(her face was flawless at 96, no wrinkles ) We both laughed.
Six days later Renee passed away in her sleep. She told me she would live to be 96 and then she was done . She was a woman of her word.
At her funeral her daughter introduced me as Renee's best friend for the past 7 years. I was really taken back. Then she talked about the fact that Renee had stopped talking years ago. She never spoke to anyone. She might grunt a bit but never a conversation. She said they thought at first that I was stretching the truth a bit when I told them things we had talked about but then I had details I could have never known had it not been true.
Renee didn't talk? Who knew! She always talked to me.
We are told that we may never know the impact of our actions... I was lucky this time. I just never imagined that she wouldn't talk to me. In our first conversation I told her I would never talk baby talk ( people do that all the time with seniors) and I would always tell her the truth. She said " Thank goodness." A wonderful friendship happened for the next 7 years.
In every loss is a gift. Oh, I know that sounds so....well you know like something your Mom would tell you. It is true for me.
The gift in my relationship with Renee was to learn the value of being myself and telling the truth. The truth may make a silent voice come to life. I grew in many ways during my seven years with Renee. Our relationship is part of what makes me who I am today.
" To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." author unknown.
Sweet Renee, Thank You, you were the world to me. Someone else will have to do Liz's flowers next time. LOL