It’s harder than I thought. I’m trying very hard to reclaim my body; it’s been misplaced and so far, I’ve not found where I put the darned thing. Once-upon-a-time, there was a season of magical days when everything worked perfectly — I swirled and twirled and jumped and danced. I was smaller then. Younger. My hair was thick and muscles held tight to my bones.
It was all so easy.
We’re told it happens to us all, this melting away of our young selves. It’s a slow process for most. Every day there is just a teensy little change that happens so deep within our cellular selves, it’s not even noticed. At least not until that first gray hair. The first crinkle around the eyes. The first droop of skin beneath our arms.
For some, our bodies turn on a dime. One day we’re well. Then we’re sick. Or injured. Or different. We break and crumble and clatter to the ground like small pieces of dropped and broken clay pots. Our bodies and minds are just so stupidly fragile.
But sometimes, an injection of joy is just the kind of glue we need to place us on the mend. With just one gesture, suddenly we’re schoolgirls or happy mates again, grinning like frogs and making delicious little monkey faces to ourselves.
That’s what happened for my sister a few days ago.
She’s recently reconnected with a former friend — someone she hasn’t seen in countless years. They’ve been carrying on daily phone conversations for the past few weeks, remembering to each other their young and simple days when bodies worked and faces shined and everyone had lots and lots of hair and a lot less belly. He — yes, HE — has invited her to his home in Oregon for a week’s visit. My sister has gleefully accepted. With marriages and kids and myriad triumphs and tragedies all behind them, they’ve begun to braid together a possible new life together — as potential lovers, maybe mates, certainly as lifelong friends. They seem to be offering to one another a possible opportunity to live out their days in comfort and companionship.
The other day, my sister received a phone call from her friend. He was at a Karaoke bar with friends and he wanted her to hear him sing something he was dedicating to her. Unabashedly in front of his pals and over the phone, my sister’s friend crooned the old Elvis song, “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”
There, in the three or so minutes it took to Karaoke that song, my sister’s heart went Squeeeeee and all the broken and shattered places she’s endured for years upon years of terrible mind and body fragility was instantly puttied together with the glue of every schoolgirl’s idea of To-the-Moon romance.
So while I’m about to start the tough physical therapy process of mending my recently broken arm and reclaiming its former usefulness, it’s good to know that my sister’s own longstanding and awful painful places have just been gob-smacked into instant remission by one gesture so lovely, so unexpected, that she has no choice now but to smile and smile and smile.
Maybe we should all sing to each other … because how grand and hopeful is that for reclaiming, mending and restoring all those little hurty places we each have?
Yes, I can’t help falling in love with youuuuuu.
Wow, again you’ve done it, Nickie. My sister, Janis’, birthday is Wednesday and this is so touching as a tribute to sister’s and friends everywhere.
Happy birthday to your sister, Don. Does this mean you’re going to call and sing to her?