Wednesday, February 3, 2010
letters to Dale
One would think, especially after almost eight years, that the letters I write to Dale (in my head, usually when driving or walking) would lessen, but they really haven't. And many of the reasons I have not blogged as much as I used to is because I often think my readers would grow tired of it, and there's only so much I can write and rewrite, etc. etc. Perhaps in my old blog (I am a journalspace refugee) but I think that many of the people who read this one don't know all the stories. I've been thinking that it's time to retell some of them.
Today I attended my regular math class at the college, then caught a bus downtown for some bloodwork, then walked over to the restaurant that I was working in when I first met Dale. It brought back a lot of memories.
February 3rd, 2010
I know I haven't written in a long time, but I've been thinking of you a lot and I'm sure you already know that! Anyway, today I went into DINO'S, can you believe it? I know, I know. I always said that I'd never go back to that place after walking out in 1995, but I've softened a lot in the last few years.
I sat down in the lounge and ordered my old regular (1/2 order of lasagna with feta cheese, remember?) and after a few moments, Mike came out to sit with me. I always loved Mike. His hair has a lot more gray in it, and he doesn't work as much as he used to because he's busy enjoying his grandchildren (from Little Helen! Nico hasn't married yet) Elpis seems to have gotten a little nicer too. I guess granchildren can do that, lol.
Anyway, Mike talked about you a lot. He says he remembers when he first noticed that you were sick, because your skin had started to go yellow. He says you used to come in and shoot the shit for a bit, have a shot of ouzo. Elpis asked me, did you drink til the end? And I was so relieved being able to say no, you quit just after your 35th birthday, eight months before you died. What a gift! To this day I am both amazed that you could do it and sad that you couldn't do it sooner. But we won't get into that.
You probably know that acceptance was hard for me, even after I fell in love with Bill. It has only been the last few years that I could accept that you'd died. I must have imagined you off working somewhere, like in the first few months after Jamie and I moved into that apartment. From the front steps I could see across the field separating Clearview and Mitchener and I always imagined that behind those trees, you were still living in the duplex. I imagined you walking Lucy, doing kata, working, getting clean.
Enough of that.
I turned 45 on Sunday - isn't that surreal?! And I am taking a math class at the college, so yes, you were right about my having to bite the bullet and just do it. It took a few years but I am doing just that! Now that my career as a retail manager is over (as well as my career as a Financial Advisor) I have no choice but to do it. Today as I was walking past the Engineers wing, I thought of you and how badly you wanted to attend Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and how you never got the chance, and I was profoundly grateful that I do. I am profoundly grateful for the life I'm living now.
p.s. Al started training again! I know this because of Facebook, but then again, FB wasn't around in 2001, was it? Anyway, it's a great way to keep in touch.