Friday, August 14, 2009


Funny how you meet people, isn’t it sometimes?  Sometimes you just grow up with your friends.  You know who they are and where they came from.  You know their quirks, and the quirks of their family, and it’s ok, because you still love them. 

Sometimes if you are lucky, your friends are in your own family.  You grow up with them too.  Sometimes you hate them, you torment them and vice versa, but in the end, you always love them.

Sometimes you meet them at work.  Those are a little harder to capture, I think.  We move from employment to employment and the daily things you have in common fade, so it’s harder to keep up.  But there are those who become special to you and you stay in touch.  As the years pass, they become dear and you love them too.

I met a friend a few years ago.  And funny as it sounds, it was through my obsession with Korean drama that I met many enduring friends; one of whom in particular was a wonderful woman named Bess.  We both liked Song Il Guk and were entranced with him from his series Jumong.  We struck up something of a friendship.  She admitted that the tune “With a Song In My Heart” made her think of SIG. 

As time went on, Bess and I started to write rather frequently; often once a week.  I’d talk about my children, she’d talk about hers.  It took Bess nearly a year to admit to me that she was in her 80s.  As if that would bother me.

Bess would tell me about her beloved Reub, the love of her life, who passed away not so long ago and how she missed him.  I found out she had twins, and grandchildren, and that she lived on the West Coast. 

And she didn’t just prattle on about herself.  She’d read what I’d write back to her.  She’d ask questions and she’d remember.  She’d laugh at my jokes, she shared in my triumphs, she read all my blogs.  She worried about my friend Lacie, she crossed fingers for Meg when she was nominated for her Cappie, and she called me to see if Meg won.  She told me all about Newport, Rhode Island when Adam was there for Officer Candidate School and she loved to hear about Josh and  his wife Stephanie.  She delighted in the pictures I would send.

We decided she was my adopted Jewish mother and we both had a bent for Korean Drama.  We adored Jang Hyuk and we couldn’t stand little Cardboard Face from “Kingdom of the Winds”.  She loved “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” and she loved her best friend Bev.  She ached still for her children and their struggles, asking me for prayers and I did the same with her. 

Bess passed away unexpectedly this week.  I had thought about her a few times – I hadn’t heard from her since July 24th and wondered how she was doing.  Her daughter was thoughtful enough to let me know. 

I’m terribly sad that my friend is gone.  But I’m overjoyed as I’m sure she is that she is now reunited with her dear Reuben.  And I’m happy to have made friends with and known this dear woman, out of the strangest of circumstances.  But sometimes, that’s how you meet friends.  And sometimes you keep them, even when it’s just in your heart. 

With A Song In My Heart - Jane Froman

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Accomplished Something

I finally accomplished something today. 

Can you recite all the Presidents of the  United States?  I can.  Now.  From Washington to Obama.  I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Not such a grand accomplishment.  I imagine 5th Graders the length and breadth of the land can recite the same list.  Maybe with first names and dates of term. 

Why?  Because I was ashamed I couldn’t name all the Presidents of the United States – there haven’t been that many, and I WAS born and raised here, so you’d think I’d have them all committed to memory. 

But no.

I think part of it started when I was trying to grasp ancient Asian civilizations and their rulers.  Way too much.  Thousands of years of history, conquests, coups, incest, and murder and all I have is 200+ years, and 40 something leaders to remember. 

ibeforeebook Oh, and I have a bathroom book that lists them and easy ways to help remember them.  “i before e (except after c)” by Judy Parkinson.  I came up with my own way to remember them.  The problem now, is that I’ve been working this for so long, that now whenever I go into the bathroom to take care of business, I start to recite the list of presidents to make sure I have them down cold.  Even at work. 

I imagine there is a diagnosis in there somewhere.

I’ve said before I’m pretty simple.  Still holds.

Next…memorize the Greek Alphabet.


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