The Before Times

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When I think of great times we’ve had, it includes our tiny, crazy wedding from which we rode away on on a 4 wheeler after being pelted with bird seed, cozy dinners in small Ecuadorian or Scottish restaurants, or knee to knee with a family of three that didn’t speak our language or we theirs inside a gondola on a mountainside, and when their son’s game beeped we always thought it was a signal from the gondola …. or at an Inn where they serve family style meals and you share delicious food with strangers. Share the same bowl, the same spoon. Long airplanes, completely full. Me listening to you chat up strangers as if we were in Texas. Then leaning in to share their stories. Lean in closer so we can hear.

Some of the best fun we have had was in the Before Times. My son calls them that. In the Before Times, just going out to breakfast together on weekends made my week. Dragging past sniffling people through the hoards at Falling water, the Andy Warhol Museum, The Botanical Gardens. That winter we were shoulder to shoulder with the gang in the small Italian restaurant just off Broadway. The chance of a short impromptu conversation, heads close together, hugs. The beautiful young man who ran and found his partner to show him my tattoo, then had his picture taken with me. The 2 year old baby girl, when we were iced in at home in the DFW Dallas Ft. Worth Airport, 15 minutes from our house. She toddled over to me with confidence and patted her pursed lips. Her dad said, She would like to kiss you, is it ok?” Yes, yes, yes, she is still in my heart.

The times I tripped because I was looking through my camera lens instead of at the sidewalk. Texas State Fair with it’s throngs of people and me limping. But we saw lots of colors and had those pork chops that we ate with our hands.

I miss hugging and kissing my loved and beloveds, and all those strangers… but every time I don’t hug you, I am hugging you. Every time I don’t kiss you it is because I am kissing you. There are people I wish I could hug at work. Just to tell them they’re doing a good job and that everything will be okay, but I won’t.

All the past was hand in hand. All the future has to be heart in heart.