Yesterday was my birthday.
Today is Sunday and I have had a gift bestowed upon me that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I awoke to my emails as usual to find one in particular that captured my curiosity. It was from a man with the simple subject line, “Susan – a question”. Now usually I delete such emails as spam. I almost deleted this email, but the mans name seemed remotely familiar. Do I know him? Somehow? So I open the email to find this:
“Were you by any chance in Anchorage in the 70′s? I knew a beautiful girl named Susan Catalano in Anchorage, probably in 1973 or so. The Susan I knew worked at a pet store (I believe) in what I think was called the Diamond Center. Was that you?”
My knees began to shake… if I had been standing I would have hit the floor. Not only was I shaken by the fact that this man contacted me, but also overwhelmed by the words he used to convey his message. I answered back, “yes it was me”. Memories came flooding back of a man I knew while working at the pet store and all the happenings my mind could muster that surrounded a particular romance. I had never forgotten him and harboured fond memories of him but I never thought in a hundred years that I’d ever hear from him. It was one of those deals where you have put everything in a small box locked it up tight to be stored upon a shelf in the recesses of your mind. Occasionally I’d come across that box and open it briefly remembering the man who just now has bravely held out his hand. Like we all do though I would close the box back up and place it neatly in its place to await my next visit. Apparently this man has done the same thing with his memories of me. Because in a subsequent email this is what he wrote…
“What I remember about you, besides the part about you being beautiful (which hasn’t changed, as verified by the recent photos I see of you on the web):
Your dad worked in construction.
You had a friend named Sunshine and you were going to meet her in Medford.
We went to see a movie at a drive-in on the Seward Highway
One night… (something intimately special)
I don’t think I was much aware of our age difference back then, which is interesting…
I’m so pleased to be in touch with you, and find it very comforting to see your obvious satisfaction and enjoyment in what you have been doing as your life’s love and work.
In a way, after all these years of wondering what had become of you, I now feel like the dog that has actually caught the car.
It feels good to have held that little flame all these years and to have been able to find you and let you know that a part of you has been present with me for the last 35 years or so.”
I have to say his words have had a powerful affect on me this day. The things he said above have struck squarely in a very intimate place within me. Something wonderful happens to you when you realize that someone from your past has had special memories of you off and on throughout your lifetime with you having no knowledge of it. On top of that the realization hit me that this man actually heard me. He listened to me and remembered the things I shared with him. I thought he was just humoring me. We were both so young, I was 19 or 20, he was 26 or 27, and maybe he was humoring me, youth does that to you, but something struck him deeply enough to bring us to this day. How wonderful is that?!!
I haven’t thought of Sunshine in over 20 years… I wonder how she is doing? I loved the drive-in on Seward Highway, especially enjoying it with him… why don’t we have drive-in movies anymore? He remembered a beautiful intimate moment we shared one night… Amazing!! I thought he was heavenly and that frightened me so I look for excuses to run and did. Now looking back remembering everything about him, his mannerisms, his voice, and touch (it was soft, kind and romantic), the feel and aroma of his skin, and those trousers he wore, or better yet how he filled them out(!), the man was Hot! I remember his warm eyes and smile and the way we talked easily with one another. Those moments were among my happier moments with a man. They all came flooding back to me as vivid as if he were standing right there before me. Some part of me locked away with those memories in that box has always been sad that we didn’t spend more time together. Yet, it was I who ran and if I had not, this wonderful morning most likely would never have happened.
Well that’s what I wrote last Sunday and here it is Thankful Thursday and I don’t think there is anything other than the Creators intervention that I could be more thankful for than (your) desire to find me. I am so happy to hear from you and for you inviting me in to see a glimpse of your life’s journey. I am happy to know that you have been blessed with many experiences, good people, and loved ones. Thank you for remembering me, and thank you for contacting me. Thank you for being you. I’m looking forward to the journey that leads to the new discoveries of you.
And just because it’s my blog and I can do what I want…
Art by Eloise Harriet Stannard
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