Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Dear Hearts and Gentle People
I miss Jack. I knew him literally from the day I was born. Hadn't seen him of course, since the 50's. Corresponded sporadically. In very recent years it was only brief notes, often written to me by his dear friend, due to his Parkinson's Disease. And still more recently, only emails from that friend - not from him at all. But I knew he was there, in New York. And now he's gone.
I miss my sister, too. I miss her terribly. It's been eight years. I still have the impulse to turn up Whildane Avenue as I pass by. I want to sit with her as she busies herself with knitting needles or crochet hook, pausing to look out her window each time someone walks or drives by. She always wanted to know what was going on in her neighborhood.
I miss my friend, Josephine, also a New Yorker. I didn't see her often when she was alive. But again - I knew she was there. It has been many years since Jo left us. Still, when something important to the family is happening, or I hear really good news, I instinctively reach for the phone to share it with her.
Most of all, even after thirty-two years, I miss Ralph. People have often asked why I never remarried. It always surprises me a little when they ask. I guess, even now, I still feel married - sort of. There was a day in 1982 - I remember it clearly. I even remember exactly where I was at that moment - when I suddenly realized that I wasn't married any longer. As a matter of fact, it was my 25th wedding anniversary, and Ralph had died seven years earlier. I took off my wedding ring that day. But that didn't really make a difference. Inside the ring was the word Always. He was my rock. He was my life. I still feel married fifty years after our wedding day.
We don't really lose people to death, do we? They remain with us forever.