And though I knew it was coming, it was still so hauntingly surreal.
We spoke of retirement and your big move 6 months ago. Where has the time gone?
We watched you make the last minute repairs for your curb appeal, and when the sale sign went up we weren’t surprised.
We were, however, taken aback by how speedy the process was from start to finish. It seemed like only a couple weekends of visitors before the U-Haul arrived.
We watched you loading and arranging with every intention of popping over to say our good-byes, and express our gratitude and well wishes. But the day got away from us, as days often do, and suddenly you and the truck were gone.
Nearly two decades of comings and goings etched into our regular routine, done!
We weren’t close, but we had some nice conversations now and again. We could count on each other the way that good neighbors do.
Your successor has some pretty big shoes to fill albeit unbeknownst to him or her.
I guess we were in a little bit of denial, thinking there would simply be more time… until there wasn’t…
I don’t remember how, but one day I was curious about a new blogger called Rarasaur and found myself directed to her site. When I got there I was welcomed with bright rays of sunshine, and silver linings in every post. I became a regular, and reveled in her lighthearted whimsy, and her profound poignancy in matters of the heart. I envied her story telling capabilities, her little anecdotes, and her innate ability to make everyone feel loved and important. While I have some of those same characteristics, mine tend to be hyper focused and directed individually at those I feel inspired to help most. Rara is somehow able to give that to everyone she meets.
So it happened one day we were to have a blogger meet up. It was the first time I had ventured to meet a group of bloggers, and Rara is the reason I went. Not to say that I wasn’t excited to meet the other bloggers as well, but I especially wanted to meet Rara. In retrospect, I think I had to know if she was REAL!? She is sort of a human anomaly. Someone who exists in the pages fairy-tales. Also, I wanted to offer a little piece of happiness to someone who brings happiness to so many others. So, I convinced my wife to attend this blogger meet up with me. We joke between us about communing in each others worlds of friends. I call hers the crazy animal people, and she calls mine those out in left field writing people. Giggles. But she too, liked many of Rara’s posts that I had either read to her or told her about. Maybe not quite enough to have attended without my cajoling. Anyway, we went. It was a wonderful time. I enjoyed meeting everyone, bloggers are just awesome people. To my surprise Rara was everything in person that she was in print. She wore a happy orange dress and sparkly shoes that her artist husband Dave had painted for her. She reminded me a little of myself, and of how I one day acquired the nick name Rainbow Bright. She and her husband seemed like the perfect pair and so in love. After this meeting my wife had faces to put with the names of the bloggers I often talked about. She followed along with me now Rara’s blog with fervor.
But then… Life.. happened and Rara’s blog came to a screeching halt and she had to go away. The blogosphere went dark for a time. Rara was accused of a crime, and she did not have the money to defend herself. We were all horrified and appalled at the possibility of an innocent person having to go to jail. I have spent most of my life believing that this very rarely happens and that even when it does, it’s not malicious. I no longer believe that. If you do not have the money or the collateral to remain free on bail, or you are considered a flight risk and remanded, you must fight your legal battle to prove your innocence from behind bars. I have always thought you did not go to jail until they proved you guilty, but that’s not always how it works. Then if you don’t have money for attorneys you can use the public defenders but the court battle can take years, all while you remain locked up. So Rara went away for just over a year because it was the lessor of evils choice she was forced to make. We all mourned. We were all outraged. We wrote letters. We waited…
and then… Life … happened
Rara lost her husband while she was away… the perfect pair, so in love, ripped apart by some cruel twist of fate. We all mourned. We were outraged. We wrote letters. Some of us attended the funeral. I was not among those, I just couldn’t. We waited…
Rara came home. We celebrated. We cheered. We wrote up the blogosphere with welcome jubilation. One by one many of us have met up with Rara, and together we hope to effect some change for the greater good. She is changed, her heart is broken. She is grieving. Despite all of this she is still the brightest light I have ever met and she still shines that light on all who encounter her.
My light has dimmed a little over the years. Life… has happened to me too, but in much different ways than it has happened to Rara. Happy attracts people, and it is infectious, but there are also those who would squish happy out of envy or hate. The only time I have ever been fired from a job, the reason given wasn’t that I had done anything wrong, it was that I was quite simply (too happy). Rara worked for someone and shined her brand of light all over him, but he was crazy and put Rara in inappropriate situations on the job. Rara left to preserve her own well being. I believe, because he could no longer control or have access to Rara that he was looking to punish her for taking away his happy. For Narcissistic people it is always all about them. What he took from Rara can never be repaid, but he failed to squish happy or stop her from spreading love and joy where ever she goes. He still loses. We thought of Rara every day while she was away. My wife and I would read her letters together and rail against the injustice of it all. Life .. has been happening to me a little then and now… and when my light dims… I think of Rara, and how much Life has happened to her and how she still manages to shine regardless, and I know that I can too.
Because of her I am reminded that when we have down moments we need only to slightly rotate the kaleidoscope to achieve a different perspective and find the silver lining.