Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Confetti

My posts for the next few days will likely be sporadic as I do not have regular access to an internet connection. However, a nurse was kind enough to let me in on a little-known place on the third floor where I could publish this today.

This post was composed in the earliest hours of this morning.

Sleep eludes me as I sit in this distant hospital room. All around me is silent except for the rythmic breathing from the bed beside me. I am lost in thought.

I am reminded of so many wonderful wonderful childhood memories over these last few days - memories of times past which bring me much happiness. Yet one memory seems to stand out among them all today; it is the memory of confetti.

Julz and I first met in the Bay Village apartments on the corner of Anza and Spencer. We were both quiet, shy young girls who enjoyed devouring good books. I do not recall the exact circumstances which led to our meeting but I will never forget the subsequent years which made us inseparable.

There was the summer that we took turns reading from Stephen King's IT until we were both so completely petrified that we could hardly walk near a sewer grate without the hairs on the back of our necks standing on end. Or the times we would drive endlessly back and forth on the local beach's esplenade in my parent's brown van, hoping to catch a glimpse of certain persons of the male persuasion. We would occasionally hang out with the nighttime crew from Albertson's grocery store or spend late nights just playing Pictionary and laughing at Julie's kitchen table. And these memories are just the beginning.

There were also the nights for confetti.

One integral aspect of our friendship was that it was so much more than just that. Friendship does not quite describe the association between Julie and I over the years. Somewhere amidst those late nights and laughter we became family.

It was not uncommon for Julie and I to have late-night cravings. We habitually wanted fresh donut holes or tall, cold milkshakes but we were not yet old enough to drive. This is where Julie's mom came in. She was always more than happy to get us to our destination - sometimes even when the rest of the world seemed to be asleep. We would wake her, make our request, then off we'd go to Dunkin' Donuts or Norm's at 3:00 a.m. We would return home and need another player for a round of Win, Lose or Draw and Julie's mom would happily step in and join us. These days are where the division between my life and Julie's began to meld and before I knew it I had a new sister and another mother.

Before the days that either of us could drive Julz and I would spend weeks at a time on the floor of her bedroom, cross-legged, cutting large pieces of colored paper into small pieces of colored paper, filling garbage sacks with millions of little treasures as we spoke in eager anticipation of the Big Confetti Day.

I will always remember how comfortable I felt in Julie's little apartment. I could talk to her and her mom about anything and everything. Julie's mom was always happy to teach me any of life's lessons that I didn't quite understand or needed some help with. They noticed when I was in need or struggling and offered helping hands, loving embraces, and of course there was always the food. Grilled cheese sandwiches, home-fried chicken, make-your-own-microwave-burritos, there was never any shortage of vittles. When I was at Julie's I was fed... and I was fed. Nourishment for the body and soul. And that's how it has always been.

When the Big Day came, Julie and I would sit, crouched, behind the bus stop in front of Bay Village. The veil of darkness would help disguise us from the view of occasional cars which would speed down the street. When the coast was clear, we would dash onto the road and scatter a few bags of our homemade confetti all over the intersection, laughing out loud, then run back to the shelter of the bus stop and wait expectantly for the show to begin. As the next car would come speeding past, the air currents would grab the tiny shreds of paper and throw them into the air, a rainbow of color cascading in all directions, whisked every which way; a paper rain-shower in shades of pastel and white littering the street with a surprising beauty - a sight to behold and worth every hour spent creating our spontaneous street party.

Last weekend I received unexpected and difficult news. My husband, understanding this extension of my family, encouraged me to fly 'home' for a visit. For hours here we have talked, laughed, reminisced and been fed. And now, here I sit in mom's hospital room, the dark earliest-morning before the Big Day, in anxious anticipation. I do not know what tomorrow will bring for my 'adopted mother', but I have had opportunity to gather up many colorful memories and recollections. And this morning I am scattering them about, hoping that this evening brings news that is cause for celebration. But regardless of what the day has in store, for me there will always be the splendor of the swirling, colorful confetti.

27 comments:

rorymckm said...

brings a smile to my face. lovely memories. :)

Camille said...

I love the details in this memory. Thanks for sharing. We all need to be "fed" more often.

Teachinfourth said...

Hoping for the best for you, Gerb. Also, hoping that there may be cause for even more confetti.

Cami said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Rache5 said...

That brought back some funny memories of my own! Thanks for sharing and wishing the best for your kind friend--hospitals aren't much fun :)

Linn said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing and I will definitely keep Julie's mom in my prayers.

hintonrae said...

What a tenderly written, beautiful post, Gerb. I am keeping Julie's mother in my prayers. She sounds like such an amazing, selfless woman--taking you girls out at 3am to satisfy those never-ending teenage cravings. My friend's grandmother used to make us fried bologna and gravy whenever we requested...but never at 3am. That's a special lady, there. :)

Gina said...

I determine from this day forward, if my child wants a spontaneous treat at 3am, I am the mom to deliver. That was a great story. Thanks for sharing it. I hope for good news for Julie's mom and for you all.

Rebecca said...

I wondered where you were, Gerb. Of course I didn't really worry, because you're always in the right place.

I'm sending you an imaginary brown package of peace and love.

~R

Autumn said...

What a blessing to have such special people in your life. It's hard to believe you were ever shy. What a 2nd mom to take you out for treats at 3 AM!

cari said...

Memories are priceless. I'll be thinking of you. :)

Anaise said...

Wishing the best possible outcome for you and the woman who gave you the best possible memories.

Corine said...

Oh my gosh... this just brought sweet emotions to my soul. Beautifully written! I'm so glad you got to go and be there for your adopted mom and hope all goes well. Thanks so much for sharing!

SO said...

What wonderful memories that you have. Thank you for spreading them along this intersection so we can share in their beauty.

Hoping for the best for your 'adopted mother'.

Anonymous said...

I was so hoping you would leave a post. The kids mentioned where you were but didn't give much detail. Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your past. I hope all goes well and may you enjoy this time with your adopted family. They'll be in my prayers. The kids all made it to piano and on time so Alan must be holding down the fort well. Kara

Amber said...

I hope everything works out.

Brown Thumb Mama said...

What a wonderful story. I, too, have my share of second moms but no stories as special as those. I hope everything turns out ok and am sending you lots and lots of love.

Sister Pottymouth said...

Beautiful. I hope all turns out well.

Richard & Natalie said...

Friends that become family are rare treasures, so are moms that are still awake to indulge girls at 3 am. That's the kind of mom and 2nd mother I hope to be...

~j. said...

Goodness gracious, Gerb.

Beautiful.

Jenny said...

When stuff like this happens it makes me re-consider if my day-to-day worrying is what I should be worrying about, ya know? Thanks for the reminder.

Michelle said...

Wonderful memories! I could just picture you crouched down at the bus stop. Makes me smile.

I am sorry to hear Julie's mom is in the hospital. I am so glad you could be there.

Thank you for the sweet reminder of the important things in my life.

Chip said...

You forgot to mention how NOT fun it was for those of us that were asked to play pictionary against the psychics... Seriously people, Gerb and Julie would just give eachother the staredown before the little sand-timer-thingie was turned (we knew it was pointless to even set a timer). Gerb would scribble what loosely resembled a backward "S" and Julie would call out, "the yellow rose of texas!" Gerb would then raise her eyebrows in an excited fashion and frantically wave her hands as if to say, "keep going... you're so close!!!" To which Julie would scream, "tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree!!!!

At that point, Pictionary became a spectator sport.

annette said...

The crazy (and random) things we do with best friends! So glad you could be there with them!

LauraB said...

I bet it is such a comfort to have you there - and the hours of reminiscence are most assuredly welcoming many a smile.
You've brought them to readers far away as well.

Gerb said...

rory- Thanks. And there are so many more where those came from...

Camille- Agreed. And I was fed once again with this visit.

T5th- We've had more confetti days than not. I'm hoping next week's news carries the greatest cause for celebration...

Cami- Thanks.

Rache5- It wasn't too bad, really - there were 2 nurses that drove us all nuts but for the most part they were very kind and caring. Mom even loved the food!

Linn- Thanks so much. That's exactly what she needs.

Lori- Special doesn't even begin to describe it. She's awesome. And I haven't had fried bologna in years! I may have to cook some up for my kids tomorrow and see what they think!

Gina- Wait... you're not already like that? ;0) I give you permission to wait until after your babies arrive to begin the 3:00 am food runs.

Bec- Best package I ever got. Thanks.

Autumn- I didn't come out of my shell until well into high school. Crazy, huh?

Cari- Thanks. It means a lot.

Anaise- Thank you. So far, so good.

Corine- I think my husband deserves a medal for staying home with the kids while I was gone. Especially since they all got sick. I count myself as blessed in that regard!

SO- Thank you for reading. Things are going incredibly well so far.

Kara- Awesome! Not that I'm surprised... I just hope he also had them practicing. ;0)

Amber- Me, too.

Gerb said...

BTM- I'm feeling the love. Thanks. =0)

Sis P- Thanks.

R&N- Ditto. I hope the same for myself.

~j- Thanks so much.

Jenny- I know. I just wish I didn't have to be reminded in such ways...

Michelle- You always seem to do the same for me when I read your posts. Thanks.

Chip- You win an award for the comment that made me laugh the hardest. What a perfect description! I sent that to Julie and she loved it just as much.

Annette- Me, too. It was great to be able to spend some time with this extension of my family.

Laura- Thanks. It was most definitely difficult at times but things are looking up. I appreciate your kind words.