“I may be the type who manages to grab all the pointless things in life but lets the really important things slip away.” ~ Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
(photo source: Google Images)
The lessons we remember most, are the ones that slice our heart.
Difficult lessons I learned this week:
- Life is fragile. A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. Fine one day. Diagnosed with cancer the next. In my young life, this is the fourth person I know to have cancer. The first three died. I feel as though as I am too young to be so familiar with cancer.
- People are finicky. People will never remember all the three dozen good things you do, and will only remember the bad things about you.
- I truly am alone in this world. The people I count on to always be there for me, are the same ones who disappear and become invisible.
Somewhere along the way, I lost my hold. All the people and things that used to keep me from falling, like my family, friends, work – I am losing my grip on them, and one by one, they are all disappearing from my life. I hold onto them as tightly as I can, but they are like falling sand slipping out of my reach and all that surrounds me now is emptiness and darkness.
“The dead are never exactly seen by the living, but many people seem acutely aware of something changed around them. They speak of a chill in the air. The mates of the deceased wake from dreams and see a figure standing at the end of thier bed, or in a doorway, or boarding, phantomlike, a city bus.”
~ Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones
Sanctuary of Zeus | Photo by TK
My friend M lives in a typical pre-war building here in New York. It is a building with a long history and a long roster of souls that have come and gone.
And some that have not left.
I visited her one afternoon. She lives on the first floor, adjacent to the front lobby, and just past the mail room. After she buzzed me in the front door that day, I walked down the long corridor towards her door. I passed the mail room and caught a glimpse from the corner of my eye a young woman bent down in front of the mailboxes. She was dressed in a long, white skirt and a dark top. I turned away, and then turned again to look back at the woman.
She had disappeared.
After a conversation with my friend and her building super, I learned the story of a woman who had died in the building. She was an elderly woman who had lived in the building since the first year the apartment building was erected. She was then a young woman who was engaged to a young soldier who was sent to Europe to fight in WWII.
It is said that her lover’s body was never found during the war. He was considered dead after they could not locate him after a mission he served in France. Accounts from other tenants in the building reported that the young woman never stopped hoping to receive word about her lover. She faithfully checked her mailbox every afternoon with the hopes of receiving some kind of correspondence regarding her one true love.
From what I saw that afternoon, she still waits.
True love never dies and waits forever.