Thanks for slogging through my litany of attempts to give back to my community in Gone Livin’ ♥
On to the juicy part – the ♥♥ of the matter:
Twenty- seven years ago, I accepted a contract to help a financially struggling School District in the North – next door to Yukon, centered in a mining town that has now been turned back to nature.
During the second of my three-year contract, I hired and befriended a woman who’d arrived to join family while she healed from a double mastectomy. Vivian was also a hairdresser. Before long, my salt and pepper tresses were recoloured, reshaped and rejuvenated into an attractive shade of blond. Playing with hair was a welcome opportunity to build a quality friendship with this petite, feisty woman. She never fell from her goal to find the adopted daughter taken by the husband who abandoned Viv while she was post-surgery in hospital. (Yes, Vivian found her and finished raising her.)
Months before my contract was finished, Vivian announced she was going to live with a man named Gary. I knew him by sight, but had not met him. He was tall and slim with a jovial countenance. I said, “Isn’t this a little soon?”
“Amy, I have no breasts and this man wants to be with me. He’s a good man. Why would I pass up an opportunity to make a new life?” Who could argue with a woman whose steady gaze announced a streak of determination bigger than the mountains surrounding us?
Although they shared a home, I still didn’t meet Gary. Each time I went to Viv for a hair appointment, we whispered and sniffled through laughter as he slept in preparation for yet another extended shift at the mine. As a plumber, Gary’s services were much in demand.
Twenty some years later, the Mine long closed, I decided to look for Viv. I could see no trace of her on the Face Book Page set up for those still grieving the Mine’s shutdown. Then I saw a comment from Gary. On August 19, 2011, I messaged him asking if he was Viv’s partner. “If you are, would you please ask her to contact me?”
I heard nothing. I wondered if civility and good manners were thinning out in the older ranks as well.
Giving Gary the benefit of the doubt, I followed up a few weeks later because he did “friend” me.
On September 28th, after some cheeky messages where his sense of humour became evident, I wrote, “Gary, being serious for a moment…tell me about Viv. She’s got a place so special in my heart! I gather she’s not with you and I’m nervous about that! Did that damned cancer get her?”
He answered: “Yes Vivian passed away July 3, 2010…after a three month fight with brain and throat cancer. She weighed less then 60 lbs. It was a very hard time for family and friends.”
Although Viv and Gary had become estranged, Gary was with her for the last few months of her life. The man who loved her through a physical and emotional restructuring loved her through to the end of her life.
Gary and I began to talk occasionally on the phone. We decided it would be fun to share lunch at a midway point. He’d fly (no ferries) and I’d drive (one ferry) so we could meet. While we live about 150 km or 93 miles apart, it’s not simple. We have mountains, islands, farms, cities and oceans between us. To visit in either of our home locations, we have to take three ferries and drive a total of about two hours. That seemingly innocuous distance takes a total of eight hours – one way!
We can’t fly to each other’s homes because the small planes would have to make a “customized” trip which means owning at least one wing of the airplane.
The plan to meet half way, in October of 2011, fell through. The day before the appointed trip, Gary slipped on ice and hurt his back badly. There was no way he could crawl into a bouncy float plane or endure a car trip.
At Christmas, a knock on the door shook me from my writing. A massive and stunning bouquet arrived with a simple card from Gary.
They lasted nearly three weeks.
Our phone calls became more sporadic and we became more distant. I decided he must be hiding some horrible health condition from me.
Then he confessed that he worried about not being smart enough for me. I convulsed with laughter. This man, full of integrity, with a heart brimming with love, was worried about an I.Q.. This man who dropped his life and flew to New Zealand to visit his only sibling, a sister, who had become ill, was feeling under-equipped to have my respect? He arrived in New Zealand and found his sister dying. He never left her side. That takes a much more important substance than brain power.
Soon after that, his mother who had remarried and relocated to Florida, was dying. He unsuccessfully fought a miserable snowstorm, airlines, and re-routed flights to be with her. She had been widowed so he had to stay long enough to take care of dissembling her life’s possessions.
To be closer to his aging father, Gary moved to a location outside of Vancouver. He spent hours each day with
his dad until he had to say goodbye. Little did he suspect he’d be taken away from home again to offer strength, support and love to his ex-wife as she struggled to live in hopes of returning to their marriage.
Well, the heart, if not pounding with devotion, is at least curious. Gary phoned with an itinerary. He’d found an animal sitter and was willing to come to my location.
And he did. Last week.
What did we discover? Being together was so easy. It was natural, fun, calm, peaceful, hilarious, fitting, dovetailed, and without stress or strain. Gary said on the phone recently, “I felt as though we’ve known each other our whole lives.”
Is it any wonder a very unique little orb appeared on one of the photos I took of Gary?
Who know where this will go? Gary and I certainly don’t.
But if you’re willing, we’re happy to have you join our wacky world while we find out.
From tears of sadness to tears of joy… What a great story you have shared. Sucked me in and I couldn’t stop reading… Thank you. Here’s hoping for many more good chapters to come.
Gone Livin-♥♥ indeed.
oh Amy, the whole time I was reading this, the hair on my arms was standing straight up. Wow. No one knows, truly, where this is headed but I do sense you are in for one heck of a magical ride!
If the laughter we share is any indication and if this develops into some form of togetherness, it’ll be a ride! I’m amazed he’s willing to chat on the phone while the World Series is on. Since I don’t have (or want) a TV, he keeps me up to date with the playoffs.
Gone Livin-♥♥ indeed…how wonderful.
Charles, I would hold my breath, but I wonder what advice Aunt Bea would give! 😀 After I do my article for the paper, I’m going to go in search of her. I miss her a lot.
Love this wow of a story 🙂
Thank you, Winsome, for your comment. I visited you! I grew up in Alberta and spent as much time as possible in the mountains. The photos on your post transported me back immediately. That road lined with rocks…my chest went warm with tension as if I was there. I used to say to myself, “It’s not me that high up, it’s the river that’s down low.” I assure you it didn’t work well!
What a wonderful man, and a beautiful story Amy – thank you for sharing it…
Gary read the post and said, “You say such great things about me, but can’t you make me a little better looking?” It’s been some time since I’ve run into such a warm and welcome soul. I’ve been saying for years, “I’ll get into a relationship when I can find one that’s five years old.” This feels a bit like that.
I’m so happy for you, Amy, what a truly beautiful story. It seems we do have a deep connection ~ these past few weeks my life has been falling into balance and yesterday it seemed to come together, effortlessly. I wish you and Gary all they joy that Martin and I have shared for eighteen years, one day at a time! x
So many are talking about the 5th dimensional energy being so intense now that those of us who want to evolve into it with more love and compassion will find ourselves sorting and setting priorities. It’s a time to know how much time to give to relationships that are toxic. In some cases, it will mean no more time. I’m pleased to hear you are experiencing life falling into place. That means you are doing what you need to do to make room for abundance.
Here’s to you! 🙂
Hope you’re using the rainbow champagne glass, Lorna! Since this has moved with the speed of molasses in winter, Gary and I may know exactly what we’re doing in 2015. 😀
So much sadness and happiness all in the same write. This is awesome and I am soooooooo happy for you guys, what a blessing to have finally found each other after so many years. May you continue to enjoy each other and may your relationship flourish! Gone livin sounds pretty good to me.
Gary and I had connected at the time you were visiting your friend Don. However, I still saw him only as a connection to the fabulous three years I spent in that part of Canada. I hope there’s a relationship in here for us, Dee. That’s quite a statement from this independent woman.
At once so poignant and personal. Your post is heart strings being twanged, pathways with unexpected forks and the promise of possibilities,a past full of memories blurring into the future and all the rest of those wonderful things…..
The lump in my throat seems real.
Wish you all the best as you go forward Amy.
Shakti, please know that blogging helped me grow wings. You are part of any strength I have to fly.
I was playing catch-up…….and all I can do is smile a broad one.
Seriously–for all the tills that you have your hand in (oh, PLEASE don’t let ’em all want you at the same time! LOL), to all the tills that you have your hand in. LOL I guess I see you as having your hands in a whole lotta tills…..which ain’t bad, frankly. The Big Guy keeps me busy for a reason. Some I sign up for TOTALLY aware……others, notsomuch!
But I’m liking the fella actually had the humility to think as he did and say it out loud! And that he’s found a connectedness comfy and worthwhile.
It ain’t easy to put yourself out there sometimes, but wow — when you ‘feel like you’ve known ’em for a lifetime’, there’s something you want to hang on to.
Ohhhhh…and I love the photos! The last one is extra cool. I adore the hat! LOLOL
So, you wise and wondrous woman, you understand my need and willingness to move one step at a time and to be open to the outcome that works well for everyone, including the angels. 🙂 I have not one clue how this will unfold, and am not willing to push, tug or pull at the situation. It is what it is and hopefully it will be a lot of fun finding out what that is!
I didn’t write about us playing crib one evening and laughing hysterically throughout the game. Ahhhh…felt so good.
*laughing* You’re talking to one who cheats EVERY time she plays cribbage…..I lay in wait and seize the opportunity!
Probably not the ‘carpe diem’ everyone goes on about, but works for ME! LOL
It’s good to laugh hysterically–and have someone who’ll be AS hysterical with ya.
One step at a time–people get brought into our lives for a reason. Apparently ONE of the reasons is to bring laughter to a game of crib! LOL Worked that way in MY life! 😉
Aha…more will be revealed about my friend Mel. Remind me to decline your offer to play poker AND crib! 😀
how completely brilliant, a gentle kind person to spend time with is such a charm. someone who laughs and cries and believes in you. I just love the idea of you stepping out onto that yacht of glory that is joy.. I am so thrilled i chose today to drop in.. love love.. c
Hi Cecilia – yes, you caught me with my finger in the honey jar! I hope all is well on the wee farm…I miss the visiting time I had before, but I’ll get over to you and do a catch-up before the in-law cottage is complete! 🙂
No worries honey, we are just toddling along.. I am just glad all is well with you.. c
I have little to say about this my dear aunt except, you read people well as you did Susan,you knew her feelings for me before I did. I can only believe your blessing follow you, and maybe it is time to pick them up, one day at a time. Happy for you!!!
Hi my sweet nephew! How grand of you to come by and leave a comment. Oh, Larry, Susan was so smitten it was almost painful to watch – it was hard to believe you truly didn’t know! Hope all is well with you and that you managed to get the wall talkin’! 🙂
Oh Amy! This is wonderful!
Big thanks, Raven! Third act! You can be my mentor…
What a great story what a great title =Gone Livin-♥♥ .. Thank you for sharing it with us. I cried when I read how hard it is for you to visit with each other. I send you both many double rainbows.
Gary and I are becoming more creative with each phone call. Pretty soon we’ll be buying the Endeavor. 😀 It’ll stop LA from having to lug it across the city!
Will I ever live those crib games down , next time my cards..
Since I video taped the game, we have it on record that you did not simply let me win. I have a feeling the game will be going on for some time! 😀
A wonderful story. His champagne aura says everything!
Isn’t it, Diana? If we wrote a romance story and threw that in, it would seem a bit over the top! But there it is!
Amy, incredibly happy for you. Soul mates are hard to find.All the best to you both.
Thanks, Kate. We’ll see how and where it all goes, but if his love for his dog and two cats are a statement of his character, it’s a good one! 😀
the photo says it all
Hi you beautiful Earth Artist! Thanks for your vote of confidence!
Plus, I choked up reading your poem. What you express makes me want to see it posted on every heart. Let’s keep believing.
This is a marvelous story. I can’t wait to hear what happens next and I dearly hope it is a happy next. From this early and distant stage, it appears that the two of you deserve each other, both having paid enormous dues in past lives. Oh…my heart sings for you….
I have to chuckle, Linda…finding ways to spend time together is wild. In addition to all the natural hurdles, we also have pets. Crazy! So if we ever manage to pull this off, we may feel like people who are in arranged marriages! 😀
Hi Amy .. I’m so pleased I turned up at this post – what a great read .. and isn’t life wonderful that with some gentle twists and turns things do happen, and life is happy … what an amazing story – and no wonder you’re laughing ….. we’re laughing with you – so positive and uplifting … thanks so much – great news … cheers Hilary
Hi Hilary. I’m way behind with reading and I need to catch up with what you are doing. I hope you are on your way to fulfilling many aspects of life. You have shown glimpses of such an interesting range of life subjects – for example your travel and connections. Thanks for your visit and comment, Hilary!
Hi Amy – not yet … still tying the bows for the cherished package that’s gone before … I do feel way better that I’ve and am finishing everything off – I’d hate my mother’s life not to have a complete and proper ending … Christmas cards and final letters will wrap all up together. It also gives us a chance to complete the life cycle in Cornwall and with the Cornish staff who gave so much for my mother and for Elizabeth, who died suddenly 18m ago, but who was the rock for my mother and her business and life … so nearly there – then I really can rest easy. Thinking time is around at the moment til things slot into place for the future … they are slowly and surely … and new opportunities arising … cheers Hilary
I’m so happy that your heart is open to adventure and your life to change. You go girl. All good wishes and warm thoughts accompany you.
A heart raised in freedom does not fear adventure, but it knows the value of caring for the core soul needs. I know you understand that statement, Barb. XO!
The story and photograph are fabulous, Amy. If nothing more happens, you’ve already had a gift.
Surely we are born of the same cloth, Jamie. Thank you! I’m sitting here feeling washed with validation…from such a trusted source. One must write and that must not be caged! A heart that beats soundly cannot be fettered. I hope your fever has left entirely!