At some point in your life math stops working. People tell you that things occurred many years before you were even born. e.i., "We met 35 years ago.". And the response in your head is that can't be because I'm only like 28. Then comes, oh wait, my oldest son is 27...mmm...the math is not working out any longer. In any case, I have this photo, above, from my 19th birthday party over 34 years ago (a calculator would be easier). And this is Stephen. I have mentioned him and seeing him on my Facebook wall but this occasion deserves a blog post as well. Stephen was my sister's boyfriend for many years. Our family was very close to him. My parents adored him and visa versa as did/do I. He always and still calls me Baby Girl. I was the little sis. He was there to pick me up after my first commercial airplane flight to San Francisco and drive us back to Pacific Grove where I was going to stay "just for the summer" between my freshman and sophomore year. I fell in love with the Monterey Peninsula, and when I saw Big Sur for the first time, I went home and wrote my parents (yep, chicken shit wouldn't pick up the phone) to let them know I would be staying indefinitely and going to school there. My parents got in their car, drove out to see this place, and also fell in love. It took them six years to wrap up 25 years of life in Bryan, Texas and move to California to get into the B & B business.
Okay, enough...fast forward. We all roamed around for a while (not my parents-they stayed 16 years), my sister and I separately back and forth. But soon after we left Stephen moved to Idaho where his family had a vacation home. He was raised in L.A.-in fact the only time I've been there was to have Thanksgiving with Stephen's family-but needed a change as a lot of us do from time to time. Stephen and our family stayed in touch for many years. In fact, 20 years ago he came to visit when we were living in Wyoming and he was there for a tournament. There's a lot of yada, yada, yada here but, we lost contact. Last December, Stephen's mother passed away and, as usually happens, there were a lot of historical stories and photos circling around. Photos of my sister and I surfaced and caused Stephen to want to connect again. He googled my sister's name and, unfortunately, first came to my dad's obituary. Stephen hadn't know that we'd lost dad and it saddened him. He wanted to reconnect with our family. He called my sister, my mom, and emailed then friended me on Facebook. With grand "luck" Stephen had a training session to attend in Emmitsburg, Maryland, about an hour away. So week before last I drove up there and we had dinner together and it was, big sigh, wonderful. I have been so blessed in the last few years to have had several very long overdue reunions with once-close friends. And it never ceases to amaze me that, even though I realize I've missed these people, when I see them I let myself finally feel exactly how very, very much I'd missed them. Seeing Stephen was no exception. My heart was so full of love for him and soaked up his love for me. Friends are soooooo special, and it's important to keep in touch, but these delayed gratifications are just so sweet and fulfilling too. An upshot to not being able to make sense of math any longer. I love you and cherish you Stephen. I love and cherish all of my friends more than you could know.