On Friday Night I attended an art walk in town. It's a once a month event when the galleries stay open late serving wine and cheese. My portion of the walk turned into my own personal odyssey. I've lived here in the Pioneer Valley since the dawn of 1970. Sometimes I go downtown and there isn't a soul around that I know. This night was if some greater being was hosting my own personal episode of "This Is Your Life,  Josie Soho".

Everywhere I went I bumped into people who knew me or my family past and present. At the last venue it became somewhat overwhelming. I bumped into a woman I've known since high school days. She went by the name Nancy Baubles in those times. She had been trying to eke out a living in a second story storefront located behind Smith College. She'd arrived here from New York. My brothers and I were happy to meet such an exotic and entrepeneuring transplant. We whiled away many hours visiting her in her store after school. Nancy is a truly, nice person who eventually became a friend to everyone in our family including our parents. 

We spent a good long while reminiscing about those old days. Quite fun. As our conversation was winding down we were approached by some of Nancy's friends. People I recognized but didn't feel I knew. As they entered into our conversation I realized I remembered the woman's beautiful eyes. They're like sparkling gemstones. Unforgettable. When I commented on remembering her because of her beautiful eyes, her husband took a step around and gazed into them. "Oh, yeah", he said playfully. (They've been married for decades.) I love that kind of silly playfullness in a man. Very endearing.  

The topic turned next to my Mum. This couple knew her but hadn't realized she'd died. I told them she'd died two years ago from lung cancer. The moment turned a bit somber . Then Nancy piped up that she'd shared the same birthday as my mom. I said, "Oh, you're astral twins then, you'll have to be my surrogate mother." She replied, "Are you in the book?" We all had a good laugh at that.

When the laughter died down. The man looked at me and said, "I remember your father. He had a way of standing by the side of the road outside the shop, willing people to stop."

 

"If you were a New Yorker you'd drive right by but if you were local, you had to stop".

I blinked. The tears sprang to my eyes like diamonds. I blinked and blinked. The tears wouldn't subside but they didn't roll down either.

 

It's been 19 years since my dad died of a self inflicted gunshot wound on a cold, November day. This man with his loopy sense of humor and bearded face had just given me a look back into my father's eyes. I blinked some more and rushed to tell him,"Thank you for remembering my father so clearly. For having understood him and bringing him to life for me once again". He said, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry." Sadly, he was now at a loss and I felt happy through my tears.

As I mentioned earlier this week, one never knows where or when love will be found. Sometimes we must open our hearts to alternate love. Love is love. Let it all in.