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Saturday, February 4, 2017

For Joe and Kim: Missed Connection

    I guess things got to me, every day things and people. Maybe I've become cynical as people seem to have traded policies for real connections and caps lock for a caring hand. Some days I can't seem to be more than cordial, and some days, I'm just tired, tired of superficial conversations and sources and...nothing that touches the soul.

   I forget sometimes to be still, take care of myself, and all the lovely things I'd say to you. I take care of my son. I'm far from alone. I enjoy solitude, and I'm grateful to have a beautiful life full of love, laughter, struggles and quiet days. After all, that's more than some people know in a lifetime.

   In my life I've been really in love a few times, but the first was named, "Joe." We were together a few years when we married and had two amazing children. I was so in love and he was my prince. We had the struggles everyone has, and we grew apart. Both had faults, and we divorced after 12 years together.

    There were others, but he was part of my life and that of my children, until he passed away a few years ago. I have relished very sweet memories of us since. He was the, "Sitting into the night on a swing," person, the,"Looking at the stars and holding hands," one. Somehow, that was enough and maybe something of Heaven then. He was the rides in that Blue MG Midget with the top down, the one who wrote me letters and made geometric colored drawings for me. He was the wrapped up in ribbons and kept promises, the one in the tuxedo who took my breath away, and the one who held our babies. He was the laughter, the sleepless nights and the one who rigged the kitchen sprayer to spray me when I turned the water on. He was the one whose baths I stole while he was getting his clothes, and the one who didn't mind at all.

   I'm much older now, and vividly aware I've had a charmed life in many ways despite the pain, and I sometimes chuckle at myself for envisioning me as the old lady in the Titanic movie, but it's not a bad gig.

   I can get so committed to just putting one foot in front of the other, so responsible. It's good and bad. It gets a person through life without repercussions and usually isn't too dangerous. Sometimes I've been so jaded that any risk seemed useless. Other times, I just didn't want to screw up the good memories I've had by having some tragic romance.

   Forever is such a strange concept when all we have is this moment, and I forget that sometimes all connections are is here and now, and in this forever that breathes this breath, anything is possible.

   I never answer wrong numbers, so I let it be. There are so many scams out there, and I really have too much to do. The number called back in seconds and that was strange, but that time, they left a message.

   "Kim, this is Joe," it began and he mentioned being at the post office in a nearby town, but it was after hours. Maybe he was an employee and was still at work. He told her he'd call again in about 20 minutes, but it was me listening and not her. He sounded so excited, and happy to be meeting her, and it made me smile, but I was sure it would work out. Maybe she'd call him. I thought it wasn't my business, and I let it go. He'll figure out he has the wrong number, I thought, and I hope it all goes well.

   In a short while he called again and left another message, Still giddy, he said he was on his way to somewhere I didn't quite catch. I wondered if it was a planned meeting place then put it out of my head. In another hour he called and left another message. There was background noise, and he was calmer and seemed concerned, "Kim?...This is Joe." He asked her to call, and I could tell his voice was straining to sound cheerful. I hoped she'd just show up....if she knew where he was.

   "Surely this couldn't be a scam," I thought. "Oh, no." I sank. "This is hurting him. What if she's home thinking he doesn't care? I can't answer this or call the number! It still could be a scam," I thought, so I began randomly searching "Joe's" in nearby areas on Facebook, Twitter, Google -anywhere! I was hoping for a sign or some serendipity, a neon light that read, "That's, Kim's Joe!" I considered leaving a message at the post office. "For the love of ...You have the wrong number!" I looked up USPS, and you can leave a message, but it goes to the National office rather than the local one. This was awful! My heart was breaking! I can't take it! I'm weak!

    This is why I avoid romance movies. It gets personal for me, and I don't need that. I have laundry to do. It was late. I turned off my phone for the night, and I went to bed. Earlier today, I talked to my daughter a while, and I hadn't thought much of the calls this morning, but she and I were joking about avoiding mushy romances and love songs, and ick! "Feelings." No one needs that... maybe. I mean eventually one leaves, or they die, or they both part ways, so what's the point?

     The point is, "Now." I repeated to myself, "Here and now, Tina." (I talk to myself.) "Focus, Tina." It's not the, "After it's over," it's the first moment when my Joey took my hand. (I heard my heartbeat when I typed that. Maybe it was his.)  My daughter said, "This could be the story they tell their grandkids!" She said, "I never get good wrong numbers like this!" She was right. This is their story. This could be their, "Once in a lifetime!"

     I've had helping hands in connections, and the opportunity to help one more love happen might be in the numbers looking at me on my phone.

    It rang in my hand! My daughter was still talking to me, and I had to go. smiles. She was excited too. I waited, "What should I do?" and she laughed at me and said, "Make wise decisions." Damned if I didn't teach her to always encourage and never give advice! haha! I was on my own. I hear her father in her laugh sometimes, and see him in my son's blue eyes.

   We hung up and I was shaking my head at God, The Universe, Kismet, Cupid or Russell Stover. "Whatever You've got going on up there, help them?"

   I was trying to muster the courage to call still holding the phone, and it rang again! I heard myself answer into the phone, "Hi. Is this Joe?" He sounded surprised or relieved, and said, "Yeah, What's up?" trying to be o.k. and sound cool about all the calls that "Kim" didn't answer. He didn't know it was me.

   I am 51 years old, and I went right back to my first phone call at 15 when I asked for, "Joey," but this time it was their turn, and I was on a mission. I said, "Joe, Listen my name is Tina, and you just have the wrong number. Don't be sad. She doesn't know you've been trying." He began to laugh, and said, "Wait!" then he repeated it back to me, "I've been calling the wrong number?" I could hear the excitement returning to his voice. I said, "Yes! You've *got to find her!" He tried to apologize, and I stopped him, and said, "No. By now I am so in love with the idea of the two of you! You've restored my faith in humanity and the possibility of love. Thank you! Go make this happen." He was still laughing in embarrassment, and I said, "Joe! Go find her!" smiles. He said very happily, "Yes, Ma'am! I will!"

   I hope you find her, Joe. And Kim, don't give up on him. I promise you, it's worth it.

   I don't imagine I'll hear from Joe and Kim again, but thank you for reminding me of a love story. smiles. I'm sure you'll pick a good one, but if you're looking, this was, "Our song."

To Joe and Kim,

With love,