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Archive for the tag “friendship”

“Here’s ‘Something Nice’ “

Having spent nearly the last eighteen months in and out of hospital, and the better part of that time bedridden, I needed to quickly create a “new normal” for myself to get through what has been a long, oftentimes discouraging, and lonely recovery. Part of my “new normal” activities has been watching dvds via my Netflix subscription. Some I’ve watched over the months have been duds, and some have been gems that will stick with me for a long time.

Case in point was a movie I watched yesterday that had been done by HBO called, “The Normal Heart”. It tells the story of the beginning of AIDS, and of a group of gay men in New York who work together to try to get funding for this disease as they watch their partners die without help from the city or federal government. Watching this movie got me thinking about a classmate of mine from 7th-12th grade. To keep his identity private, I’ll refer to him as “Chuckles”, my nickname for him, because of his infectious laughter. “Chuckles” and I were in choir from 7th-12th grade, and I think we laughed every day for those six years. During our last choir class before graduation, our director gave us time to sign each other’s yearbooks.  I tossed my yearbook across the room to him, and said, “Hey, write something nice, will ya?” He returned my yearbook to me, and I didn’t give it another thought, knowing that whatever he’d written  would be found in the article about him featured in the yearbook, predicting that he would be a star on Broadway. That was 1979. Fast forward a couple of years when we met up again at the local junior college. He invited me to join him for coffee one morning, (I drank cocoa), and we had a long chat about a secret he had kept for many years and wanted to share it with me. My dear “Chuckles” revealed that he was gay, which I had pretty much already concluded, and I listened while he poured out his heart to me.  On December 9, 1993, “Chuckles” breathed his last breath, succumbing to AIDS. You’re wondering what he wrote, aren’t you?

He wrote, “Dear Beth, ‘Here’s Something Nice.” Love, Chuckles…..

Why did I choose to share this slice of my life with you tonight? I don’t know except to say that this movie touched me deeply, and I highly recommend it. Between that time when we sat down for coffee and the moment I learned of his death, we had lost contact.  Watching this movie  brought home for me how he must have suffered in the end and it gave me an opportunity to mourn the loss of my friend (which had never really done), and his writing what he did in my yearbook, was his way of shielding me of what was to come for him a decade later.

So dear “Chuckles”, I know every night in heaven has been “another opening, another show” and I can’t wait for a front row seat.

My Thank You Gift To My Readers

Dear Readers, Followers, and Friends —

On this day of my 54th birthday, I celebrate by thanking you for reading my blog, your comments, and the friendships that I have made since I decided to join the world of blogging on December 20th, 2014. When I shared this idea with you I said that I would write a short story with the sentences and ideas that you sent my way.

As I wrote tonight, I realized that what I have written is not a short story (yes, it’s approximately 250 words), but it grew to have a life of its own, and just might turn itself into a much longer work. Dare I say, that these opening paragraphs are the beginning of that journey I spoke of, of actually writing my first novel? Tell me what you think so far…..don’t be shy! I want feedback. No, scratch that, I NEED feedback! Just so you know, it has no title as of yet. Need to see where I’m headed….So…..are you ready?  Here it comes!

________________________

He had agonized over by which direction to leave the courtyard of the town square, circling away from the bonfire again. He couldn’t bear to catch her eye because if he did, all the courage he had mustered to leave would be gone. He was leaving his lady love knowing full well that without even the slightest of an explanation, he had broken her heart. He only hoped that she would never discover why he had left. The further he walked, his cowboy boots felt like two cement blocks, and the less he could smell the burning bonfire mixed with the sweet smell of her intoxicating perfume. The faintest of its fragrance still on the palm of his hand where he had gently touched her cheek wet with her tears. His pace slowed, remembering her last words to him.

He remembered her looking at him lovingly. “Surprise me,” she said.

He had told her he’d return one day and that when he did they would never be apart again.

I glance at Sharon, who is sitting to my left, and who hasn’t said a word. Surely she knows I’m upset. Has he sworn her to secrecy? I’m stunned that she, the woman I have trusted since we were children with my deepest secrets, hasn’t even made an effort to comfort me.

The bonfire has been doused, so all that is left is return to her cabin and pray that her beloved cowboy would return to her side as he had promised.

A Day of Dread or A Day of Blessing?

I had been dreading this day.  I had made a decision about the status of a physician/patient relationship that had run its course.  It was time to say goodbye and move on. As the hours ticked by, I became more stressed and nervous. Would she be hurt? Would she think I was ungrateful for the care she had provided for many years?

And then there she was standing in the doorway. We exchanged hellos, but there was tension already apparent. I had been rehearsing for days so all I had to do was speak up. I began my explanation and my reasons for coming to the conclusion I had. She allowed me the opportunity to speak without interruption.

She smiled, and replied, “I have some news for you, too”. She was happy for the decision that I had made, and in turn, let me know that she was ending her current medical practice to devote more time to her newest medical venture and to her young son.

We both started our respective day dreading the outcome, but in turn, we gave each other two parting gifts — honesty and respect.

So I leave you with this thought….  “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, it will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

 

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