We talked about friends no longer with us, or who we don't know where they are, or for those who simply were not there with us on this weekend. Bill got up and talked about Harry Rife, who was not with us. Billy (sorry, everyone called me Kathy and I kept calling you Billy) has written and PUBLISHED a couple of books of his stories of life. That is so cool, especially for me, someone who has always dreamed of publishing a children's book. Bill got up and talked, in his uniquely funny self, about a life changing moment with Harry Rife. It was sweet and beautiful, and opened all of us there into feeling comfortable to tell stories never told before. Whether our fellow classmates were there or not, did not matter, the stories were told as if everyone was with us.
They were with us.
They were as alive and vibrant as if they had walked into the room with a big grin on their faces. I will never really be gone. No, I have managed to leave many stories.
Many, many stories
Many embarrassing stories. I was a cymbal player in the marching band. We had like a dozen flute and twice as many clarinets. Way too many for the size of our total band. Deb played the tenor drum, I played cymbals. I fell down the band stairs I think weekly. My knees to this day still do not tan properly from scraping the skin off too many times. I split my right eye open spinning these giant brass cymbals for the National Anthem. It was for the Southeast game, and it was Thanksgiving weekend. I don't remember where Mother and Daddy were, but we had no signature from them to go to the hospital, our regular doctor and backup doctor were out of town, so our neighbor, the Veterinarian to sew me up. He did a fine job, but the jokes about rabie shots were pretty funny.
I come from a family of story tellers. I grew up in a class that gathered stories. We have some very fine story tellers in our class, like Bill and Frank, and myself, if I can be so brave to put my name in with them. Stories are energy, and we could power the world with our stories, if we just knew how. That is why I love the "Monsters, Inc." movies by Pixar. Screams and laughter from stories, etc. power their make believe world. Stories can energize an older person like my Dad. He was the ultimate story teller. Many of his friends said that you could name any word and he had a story. String, rubber band, mustache, dog, cold, whatever, he had a story. And he had a style to his stories that made them even funnier and more special. My big brother Rob, is also a story teller in the style of my father. As Dad got more and more lost he did not stop telling stories, he just needed help remembering some of them. He and I would be some place and he would order his ice tea. "On the rocks...." at the end he would look at me, I would say, "no salt on the rim" and he would repeat me. "stir, don't shake", repeat and so on. He would also do that with more of his jokes and longer stories, so the person held prisoner out of respect and kindness would hear things twice. It really wasn't funny, but yet, it was funny in that he acted like this was perfectly normal, and there was always laughter and smiles. My older brother started picking up more and more of my Dad's stories. After all, he had been in fireman and EMT while Dad was, so had experienced many of Dad's stories first hand. Rob was kind and would let Dad throw in comments, while he kept the story going, generally, in one direction.
I think animals have stories also
I know that Bob knew Maggie, Harry and Lily, my first three labs, and he seems to have something about him that came from them
Edna knew Harry and she has a little
Harley will learn from Bob and Edna
They will make their own stories
Yes, I am aware they are dogs
but I still think they have memories
Here is a new story. Well, maybe it is an old story with a new chapter. Yes, that is better. When I was in high school there was a guy in our class, Sean. He was very nice and funny. He, like Vicki and I often did things that the "normal" kids in our class would never have thought of doing. He was tall and I don't even remember if he graduated with us or not. I always thought he did. But he wasn't at the reunion, so I am not sure. I have lots of stories, funny ones from high school, and I assure you, that Sean is in some of them. So how is any of that new? I received a comment on my last blog from a Sean. I hope it is him, you, oh, this world of ether can be confusing to me. Anyway, I write this for myself, but Sean, if it is you, let me know. I would love to talk to you.
One last story and then I shall leave the past for now. When I was in 7th grade Frankie gave his watch to Jennifer to give to me to "go" with him. I put it on and walked back to him, with Jennifer and he kissed me. A sweet gentle, first young puppy love kiss. I remember Jennifer's face being almost as close as Frank to me. Frank and Jennifer did not remember the story the way I do. Jennifer came up to me and asked me why I never told her about kissing Frank. I told Jennifer and Vicki everything.
OK, there wasn't much to tell
but I would never have been able to experience something like this without telling the two of them
Once I told each of them my memory, they both started thinking about it, and well, maybe we all three now share the same memory, maybe for now
for as long as our memories last
we are getting older kids
and with my chemo brain, my memories are broken and pieced so much of the time
But isn't that part of stories?
They are passed on from one to another
like the game "telephone" (I apparently am in a "" mood, oh well) stories change and grow.
Some teach lessons
some remind us of events now gone
Some stories are to entertain
do the trees hold and pass on stories
here in Key West I love to stand under the Australian Pines (yes, I know they are mahogany trees, not pines, and yes, I know they are invasive) but in the slightest breeze, they will whisper
swooshing, gossipy noises
and the rocks and the water and the air around us?
Do they take in the stories around them?
I feel the warmth of the sun on a hot day held inside the rock and radiating out
I see the water swirl and churn and grow ugly sometimes,
other times, peaceful, calm and gentle as a lullaby
I see the air grow thick with clouds and other times
so blue you can see forever
They all have energy
are they stories?
without stories, would there be life?
is life simply stories come alive?
All I know is that I am so blessed
my life runs thick and deep with stories
and I am proud to read Bill's stories in the book he traded to me
they are honest, and funny and hard and as true and alive as any memories or stories I have ever read
and I am proud to have had the opportunity to read Frank's stories
the only boy from school that held my hand and I wore his watch, even if it was only for a few days, and over a weekend.
I was young and immature, and Frank understood
Write your stories Frank
I am in Key West and again stories are filling my head with memories as well as new experiences with my honey.
but that is another story