Tonight I made a casserole and took it to a “pot luck” supper and tribute to another grand matriarch from our town. Today was also her birthday.
There were, I estimate, about 200 people at the gathering of friends, family and colleagues of Marilyn Wheeler. It was a pleasant event, and though I know that the people closest to Marilyn are grieving and will hurt for a long time, there were hours of accolades, stories, music and visiting.
I saw many folks I know, although few people sought me out to have a conversation. I was starting to feel like I did in grade school, when I was last picked for volleyball, or when I’d come home from a sock hop saying, “Mommy, I had three dances!”. Everyone else seemed to have some great communion happening.
Finally, I decided not to feel sorry for myself or be so self-involved. I tried not to worry so much about looking disheveled (I DID). I had a couple of conversations that were awkward: someone implied that not all the dogs I picture on Facebook have actually boarded here, someone else didn’t “get” a joke I made about wonderful potluck suppers, and I told one person that they had spoken eloquently this evening, and they said, “No I didn’t…”. Then I simply started asking acquaintances and friends how they had been, what they had been doing.
It’s not rocket science, but it makes me wonder how some people can enjoy a crowd more than others. I think part of the deal is getting the other guy to talk about themselves. Or, for an occasion such as this, telling one’s own charming anecdote about the dear departed also works.
Eventually, I didn’t feel forsaken or forlorn as I did in grade school, and went home thinking about Marilyn, Linda, and others who had died in the last few weeks, but my heart wasn’t sore. I thought about the difference those departed people had made and vowed to ask more people how they have been and what they have been doing, while I still can.
In the words of songwriter-singer Raffi:
” … ’cause I feel like a million, feel like a million, feel like a million to have the friends I do.”
Hope you are all well, or well enough, and handling your own “journey” … until I get around to asking you how you have been.