Yes it is Valentines Day and I am not a big fan. Most men have to fit into a romantic mold to survive this day, even if they are not and I do not fit into the mold.
This is not the first valentines day that I have been without a lover, but even when i was, they were not impressed with valentines day and my own efforts were mostly wasted.
So as i reflected this morning, i had one thought and then another and they led me to the many people in my life who have helped me through my Adventure.
These are the important people.
These are the people who love me and i them, in perhaps a more intimate way than many couples i have known.
There are those in my community who have supported me, directed me, cried over me and almost seen me die. They are a complete part of each day of my life, each struggle i go through and i with them. There are no embarrassing thoughts, just things to grow from. They have supported me when i am too weak.
The names i will mention will mean nothing to you, but do to me:
Marie, Franklin's wife and my pastor, a person with a whole lot of heart.
David, with whom i have no idea how i would survive without;.
Franklin, the person who helps direct us, who is down in Virginia trying to get things ready for the rest of us. He has a lot of wisdom, foresight and heart.
Those are the closet people, but i must mention Scott (Franklin and Marie's son), John, who also lives in the same house and Walter, who lives with Franklin. Each is very important to me.
There is also my mom, who despite being 85, would have tried to take care of me during this Adventure. She couldn't except in here mind and i would have had to take care of her, but she lives in Virginia with her family, who do keep her occupied.
Outside of that, there are a host, just so you get to know i am by no means isolated.
Margarita, who is a happily married mother of 3, has really been there in my darkest times and there is a connection between us that I can't really describe. She has all my lost and respect.
Courtney, a person with whom I am constantly amazed because we share so many life lessons.
Jenny, who amazes me by her kindness through all of her adversity.
Irene, also a married friend with a daughter, who despite all of her struggles, will still try to be there when she is able.
As i face my fears (yes, i have a lot of those messing with my mind), each of these people has shown the Love that has helped me through those fears and given me hope.
Are these people Lovers? In a very special way that we each understand.
There is one more set of people who i must mention. These are people who are not really in my life. Some of them i keep contact with and all of them would still be welcomed if they came to my door.
Pam, my first girlfriend who lives in California now with her partner (i do not know if they are still considered married with all the craziness in that state). I keep in touch with her by email and she reads this blog (but does not comment). She has a piece of my heart.
Larry, my best childhood friend, who I couldn't understand when he called me (the Texas accent was wonderful, but I have been away from it for too long), but still kept trying to keep in touch. We still communicate by email. I am glad that we keep in touch.
Irene (Spanish pronunciation, Erenee), who I went out with for a few years, but i knew she wanted to marry a person from her own country (Columbia). She did, but it is always nice to see and talk to her on the street. I learned my conversational Spanish from her.
Paula, another lady who i went out with for a few years, who i didn't total understand emotionally. It was good to see and talk to her the other day.
All the neighbors on the street i live, they are just that good neighbors.
Also, i must mention Jake, the lab mix in our house, who is the kindest, gentlest dog I have ever met.
Now for the difficult part, the people who I carry with me, but will not see at least physically.
There is my Dad, who has been very present these last few months. I keep running into notes and instructions he gave to me (and pictures).
There is Penny, my first girlfriend up here. We had a crazy and unbelievably connection. It was not a consistent relationship, but when she died (unexpectedly from complications due to leukemia), I swear she came to me while i was working in the Lab and told me "Tell everyone I Love them , I've got to go now!" I still cry remembering this.
Mary, who had a really difficult life and made many bad decisions. But she had very strong feeling for me and I got to share the last months of her life .
Mr. M, AL, who turned into my best friend up here, we got to pal around a lot. He died when he was almost 85 in all the manners he had hoped for. I hope that I am given the same gift.
The emotions from writing this post are high and I know I have left some people out who are never the less very important, but I can not continue.