Ed and Marilyn

Today was garage sale day for The Sultry School Teacher.  She sorted out everything she’s not bringing to the city and set it out in the driveway.  I added a bike that’s been sitting in my garage, and a fouton and chair that I believe has been F-ing up my feng shui.

It was slow at first but as the morning wore on, we started to see more and more customers.  It was a productive day, and we moved all our big pieces.  We also did a lot of people watching.

We live in a very small town with a population around 7,000 or so.  The School Teacher and I live near the historic part of town where the buildings have charachter, the corner has a fantastic deli and the courthouse employees can walk to and from work.

If you were to spend a few days in our simple small town, you might see Ed and Marilyn.  They are an elderly couple that slowly buz around town on their twin medical type scooters.

I’ve seen them often, and chatted with them briefly on occasion.  I believe Marilyn may have suffered stroke at some point, and so doesn’t speak well.  Though she doesn’t offer many words, her smiles are given out in abundance.  She’s a petite gal, with gorgeous glowing gray hair that falls just below her shoulders in slights waves.

Ed is always by her side.  Dark haired, trim and always wearing a ball cap.  I have never seen one without the other.  Many times I’ve seen them from my living room window, steadily rolling along down the street.  It occurs to me that their health is not so well, since they don’t have the kind of mobility they once had and they are in the twilight of their lives…  but I always think, at least they’ve got each other.  Whatever their predicament is.  Whatever took their ability to go for a simple walk together…  still they have each other.

Today, I had my first conversation with Ed that covered more than introductions.  Today I saw a little bit of who Ed really is.

As Marilyn looked through a stack of brightly colored children’s books, Ed told me how he’d worked for a school district for some 30 years in a place far from here.  He told me how he’d fallen from a roof, and become severely injured.  He told me about his suicide attempt in the years following that and how he’d been locked up in a psychiatric facility for something like 24 days after losing his wife to cancer.

It was a sad tale.  I probably looked quite uncomfortable as he talked and shot holes in the vision I had of who they were.  I tried to be comforting, and give his thoughts a little nudge toward what positive he has here today.   “So, who have you got with you today?” I asked, motioning toward his feminine companion.

“That’s Marilyn” he said, and dismissed her as quickly as I brought her up.

All I could think, after our encounter was…  While Ed is busy thinking about all the devasting losses he has suffered in his life, he’s neglecting to see what’s right in front of him.  It then occured to me that, no matter who you are or what you’re story is…  there are mostly likely people watching you and wishing they had what you have.

There are parents out there who pour their hearts out to God day after day begging to see thier children healthy and happy… as mine are.  There are people who would give anything to be able to go for a run without debilitating pain, or not feel sick every minute of every day…  to have a warm place to sleep, enough food to feed their babies, pets to keep them company when their people aren’t around, a job they love…. any number of things.

And although I’ve been feeling lonely these days… I’m no shut in.  I get to be out in the world, meet people, talk to people and foster new friendships.  How many people in this world don’t have those opportunities?

I thought about this for a long time and concluded that I have become quite good at appreciating the people I have in my life.  While I did not get The School Teacher for a terribly long time… I appreciated her in word and in deed.

We supported each other, spent time together, talked for hours on end..  We rang in the New Year side by side, toilet papered a house together, roller skated, ate pizza, got lost in the city.  We cried together, confessed our secrets to one another, worked on a project side by side and vented our anger when necessary.  We offered each other acceptance, friendship, encouragement and love.

I took none of this for granted.  I’ve told her how much she means to me.  I have thanked her time and again for her friendship, her listening ear and her alternate perspective.  I’ve left her notes for no apparent reason.  I’ve picked her up a gift from time to time, just because I was thinking about her and wanted to see her smile.

Today as she and I sat on my front porch drinking coffee at the end of the day… I thought… I have no regrets.  She’s an angel God sent me for this particular time in my life, and I hope I’ve been as much to her too.    I’ll never forget that scene, and how it felt ‘front porch sittin’… my best friend and me.

Yesterday was such a brutal day… heartbreaking.  I couldn’t get away from the thoughts of being left all alone, of the gaping hole that will be left in my life when she goes.  I cried and mourned the loss of not just her, but many many friends in my life.

The School Teacher leaving seems to have brought back an ache in my heart for The Ambassador (strangely, at the very same time I also feel PISSED that he bailed on me) and made my dread of Captain Amazing’s move even more pronounced.

Yesterday I was crushed, and even put myself to bed early with quite a large glass of wine… but today my heart is just thankful…  so incredibly thankful… for what I have, the souls I’ve shared time with and worked along side.  The life I lead, the great kids I’m raising, the healthy body I get to live in every day.

Oh, what a difference a day makes.

Published in: on August 14, 2012 at 9:00 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. what a difference loving surrender makes. Walter

  2. Sorry to hear about some of the painful transitions coming your way, but kudos to your positive attitude! Here’s hoping some nice doors open up for you soon.

    • Thanks for the well wishes, Ben. I’m working through the transition as best I can. 🙂

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