Friday, August 26, 2016

We Must Be Kind

Little sweetheart, I was watching a documentary the other night on Netflix. It's about the 60's and an entire segment of it was about JFK. There was an enormous amount of footage I had never seen before and one sequence has stayed with me now for days. It's news reports from the streets on New York as people listen to car and portable radios, gathered around on the sidewalk trying to hear news after word has come out the President has been wounded in Dallas.

There's a very kind, shy and altogether lovely older woman there among them who the reporter approaches. She's listening with such quiet care and worry, my little sweetheart, and the reporter asks her what she thinks. She says something very quietly, terribly concerned and then, full of love, unguardedly, unexpectedly, exclaims "we have the same birthday!" And then smiling through her fears, "I'm just crazy about him."

Moments later in the film, after they've shown the famous sequence when Cronkite confirms the President's passing, they cut back to the street scene where the same news is coming over the car radio. That same crowd is gathered around and that nice old lady is close by too. At that moment as the news can be heard, there is a collective gasp, and the poor lady reels backward, literally jumping, as though she's been struck. She shrinks back into the thick of the crowd on the sidewalk, surrounded yet all alone, so very alone, and weeps.

My little sweetheart, people are good. People are so very lovely and kind and excited in wonderful guileless ways about things that touch their lives. And we are all so terribly terribly fragile. You taught me so much, my darling. And this is one of those things. We must be kind. In every way we can, with every chance we get, we must be kind to one another. We're all hurting. And we simply must be kind. And when we do show kindness, our hearts are one - mine flies to you, feels your touch and I know I will be with you forever because in that instant I am.

That nice lady, so very hurt, broken with sorrow, inconsolable -my heart goes out to her too in this moment captured before we were even born. I think it's meant to. Maybe she's even passing you by as I write this. Maybe wherever we go we feel it when someone, even someone we've never known, thinks of and feels for us. May it be so. May I love the way you taught me to, the way you taught and grew my heart. May we love one another. Love has no limits. It is boundless. May I act in love. I know it redounds to and reaches you.

Give that lovely woman a hug for me, little sweetheart. Tell her that your sweetheart, Michael, was just telling you about her. That he's so sorry. And that it's a little bit late - or maybe not because what is time? I know you know now. Maybe it's all going on all the time - but that he sends all the comfort and understanding and love in the world to her and all through you. Because you taught me, didn't you, little sweetheart? You showed me love. Until that day. Until that day! With love forever...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eleven Eleven

Little sweetheart, I'm not sure when, but a little while ago I read something about how when we begin to notice clocks at the hour of 11:11am or 11:11pm, we should pay attention because there is a belief that these are occasions when our angels are trying to tell us something. Well, it's been happening to me a lot! Maybe it means you are finding yet another way to make me know you are with me! I hope so! Here's what I read about it:

"11:11 means your angels are reaching out with love, guidance and frequency… With awareness, you can begin to feel and experience their love, and presence. 11:11 is often said to be a doorway between realms, and really there is some truth to this. The spiritual realms are always all around us… But when you see 11:11 it often signifies that your Guides and Angels are trying to contact you. When you see 11:11 it’s a sign and a call to directly connect with the light and love of the Divine and angels that you are One with. Take a deep breath, quiet your mind, and enter inside to tune into the messages your guides and angels have for you when they whisper in your ear to look up at the clock… right at 11:11."

I love the idea! And, like I said, it's been happening more and more. I don't always get to it fast enough, but more than a few times when I've seen eleven eleven come up on my phone - like suddenly touching and waking it and finding... there you are! - I've quickly taken a screenshot. This picture below is a little collage of just a few of the more recent times, the more recent celestial visitations... from you!

Thank you, my little sweetheart. I'll do my best to quiet myself and listen for your wisdom. Thank you for finding me! I'm so grateful! And please please take me with you as soon as Heaven will allow, won't you? Love you forever!

Monday, August 22, 2016


Little sweetheart, I'm watching one of our stories, as we used to do together here on the couch curled up in each others arms. You would put your feet across my lap and I would massage them, remember my little sweetheart? You told how important it was to curl up with your partner- me - at the end of the day and watch a story together. I was so proud to be called yours. I still am. Tonight, as always now, I am alone. There's a romantic scene, a lovely one, on a plane, the lovers kiss and I think of you. I haven't thought of how that feels in a long time but it comes back immediately. What a miracle just to kiss you, my little sweetheart. What a miracle to be with and be loved by you. Didn't I often say as much? That you were my miracle? You are. You always will be. Oh, my little sweetheart, what a joyous miracle it was to be with you! May I be returned to you soon. Tonight. By morning. Come for me as soon as heaven will allow. I love and miss you. Achingly. Oh, my little sweetheart! Oh, my love...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Morning Message

When I woke a morning or two ago, little sweetheart, the first lines of this were in my head. I wrote them down and then the rest last night. You gave it to me, I know:

Sweetheart, come, it's me.
Come now, sweetheart.
Come with me.
Where are we going?
Don't worry, you'll see.
Into The Forever.
I'll show you
We'll be
Together and happy
Just come now with me.
Don't worry, I'll show you.
Don't worry, you'll see.
Come now, my sweetheart.
Come now, it's me. 

Also... this morning I have our song "She Hears You Calling" running through my head. You're doing your best to help me, little sweetheart, I know. May I do my best for you in all things. Please be with and take me to you as soon as heaven will allow...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Don't Panic, pt. 2

One of my favorite memories of your first visit here, little sweetheart, is how when we woke up late the day you had to fly back - because my alarm didn’t go off - that you didn’t panic, but calmly gathered your things in record time while I agitatedly called quickly for car service (instead of our plan to take the Air Train). You were smiling and calm when I was afraid you would be so mad and blaming me. I have a lot of broken places inside, my little sweetheart. Even more now than you can imagine because I long for you so. I had so many broken places then because people weren’t always very nice to me, little sweetheart. And I think I was often tensing up expecting to be berated or belittled or told that I was wrong. But you were fine, so fine that morning, my darling. You didn’t let something unexpected ruin the end of our first glorious full week together alone here in New York. And soon the driver called up, we went downstairs, climbed in back and cuddled all the way to JFK, where, as would always be the case, I cried my eyes out at your leaving, even though I knew I’d be seeing you in three weeks time (in London!).

There were plenty of times when either of us could meltdown, could get upset over something less than earth shaking. There were plenty of times when you might throw yourself dramatically face first onto a bed full of pillows crying in frustration. And I would always do my best to talk us through it, find a solution, comfort you, fix it. That face first pillow plant full body flop was such a signature move of yours, I can recall its practition over numerous beds in numerous different cities across separate timezones.

The last one I remember was when you opened your MacBook Air and the lid literally came off in your hand. As I tried to sooth you immediately post pillow plant, you cried out “I can’t have sex for three hours right now! That won’t help!” I still remember us laughing later about that now. At the time and after some time and calm talking, I got us on the phone with the Apple Store and we got an appointment and drove down there where they looked it over, told you they could fix it overnight and that we wouldn’t have to pay. You kept asking, like several times, how much it was going to cost. Finally the Apple guy turned to me, smiling, pleasantly. “Will you please tell her to take yes for an answer?” he said. It’s free, I told you, little sweetheart. You’re still under your three-year Apple Care Plan. “Oh, it’s free?” Yes, sweetheart. “Who paid for that?”. I don’t know, sweetheart, maybe your dad when he gave it to you? But it’s free. Problem finally solved, we walked around the rest of the shopping center. You saw some socks - of all things! - that you thought were cute, so I quickly bought them for you before you could say no. Then, we looked for a nice place to have dinner.

We both could be emotional. Ha! That is certainly the understatement of the nascent century. I myself am entirely prone to hysterics. I can feel you nodding emphatically in agreement from here, little sweetheart.  You and I could unquestionably get derailed by something entirely marginal and not be able to unwind ourselves for some time or without the diligent, calming help of one another, but you taught me so much. You still do. And, unlike anyone I have ever known, whenever things did get really bad, whenever it really counted, you could always be counted on. You never let me down when I really needed you or even when I desperately needed but didn’t even know or could articulate or even ask for what was required. Every time there was real adversity you were there instantly, expertly, selflessly, totally and without judgement. With love and care and support and unbending, unending presence. You never fail me. God, how I love you, my little sweetheart. And I always will.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Little sweetheart, I'm looking at one of your first cards to me. It's in a frame over my desk. It came with a gorgeous coffee table art book and you sent it to me on my birthday, just months after we first met, just after I'd come back to New York, just before your first visit here.

I remember that we talked increasingly and almost every day on the phone in those first few weeks after the play had closed in San Francisco and I had returned to NYC. My birthday was just less than a month after that. And soon after, you called to tell me that you were thinking of coming to visit. You wondered if you should just come for a weekend or a whole week. I told you that you should definitely come for the whole week because if you didn't, afterwards, we'd be sad.

You did come, of course, and it was magic. We really were quite new to each other still. They say that new couples are tested when they first travel together. This was far more intimate than that. The two of us bumping about here together in my little apartment for a week. But it was perfect and we were perfectly compatible and comfortable with each other immediately. It was extraordinary and it confirmed every feeling we had for each other. Later, after you returned to San Francisco - and not before we immediately made another plan of when to see each other next (in London at the end of the month) - you emailed to say you were "sorry to have left the place in such a tip" (a mess) and that I shouldn't think that you "hadn't seen (me) walking around behind and cleaning up after (you)." I wrote back to tell you the truth - I wasn't concerned about any mess or cleaning up, I was bewitched and simply couldn't stop following you around from room to room, so in love and overjoyed to have you here.

In the card that I'm looking at, this card you sent me with the gift for my birthday just a few weeks before you arrived and stayed here with me for the first time, you write so lovingly and charmingly, telling me about finding the book at the great little store in The Mission - Needles & Pens - where I'd taken you (and would again many times) and that you also wanted to include some gingersnaps from the bakery in your neighborhood (where we also would go together many times) but that you were worried they'd be "smashed to skitter with the heavy book and all...".

It's a beautiful note, little sweetheart, and noteworthy for being so early in our time together, that - like your calling to say you've impulsively decided to come visit but are making sure that's alright -  it still has the slightest hint of “if-that’s-okay” politeness about the fringes of our mutual head-over-heels falling in love. You say in the note that you’re hoping I don’t already have this book but that if I do, then I “better tell you & don’t be all nice and not mention it… OK?”.

Little sweetheart, no one has ever been as blessed as I to have been found and loved by you. As I sit here this morning wanting so much to write something down for you and so very mindful that yesterday I was not at my best, regretting it and praying that I may be better, do better, be worthy of the great gift that is you, I look at this treasure from our first days together and the words begin to come, the thoughts begin to appear, the love in my heart begins to swell.

I know I must do better and that I can. I vow that I will. I vow to quiet myself and take today one breath at a time with gratitude for you. And a prayer that I may be worthy, that you will let me call to you and hear and help and guide me. I will do better, my little sweetheart. I promise. Please, please be with me. With all my love forever…

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

So Much More

Little sweetheart, I was thinking of… a bunch of skeleton keys we found and a whole drawer of wristwatches and another of costume jewelry, the one and only time when we were at my mom’s lake cottage they day we arrived after her passing. There was a kind of storage room, it had actually been the garage but had been made into an addition, and it was full of things like this that someone would eventually have to go through and sort out. You were sitting in the living room on a rocking chair by the big windows looking out at the lake and I kept bringing these little treasures in and giving them to you because I knew they were things that you’d like and my mom would love for you to have. She so wanted to have a sweet wonderful girl like you to share things with. She never had a daughter, little sweetheart, and she would have loved spending more time with you, I know. Just like my grandpa, her dad, who never got to meet you. I think I often told you what kindred spirits you and he are. I bet you know that firsthand now.

There wasn’t time to go through everything in the storage room that day. We’d only just arrived and we had the funeral to plan and everything. We weren’t even staying at the lake house. That was my mom’s little get-away cottage. Her proper house was about an hour away and that’s where we were staying and getting everything taken care of. I’d just really wanted you to see it. And even though we were exhausted from traveling and every single emotion, we got in the car and drove out there before it got dark so you could see. By the time I was just sort of cursorily looking through the storage room, we were really getting ready to go back, getting ready to leave. We’d spent most of the time out there in the backyard by the dock, rolling up our pants, taking off our shoes and socks and dangling our feet in the water. I don’t know how I would ever have gotten through any of it without you there, although I didn’t ask or even dream that you would come.

When I got the news that my mom had died, I was in London and you were at home in San Francisco. You were the first person I talked to, the first person I told. Of course. Of course. It was the middle of the night in England. And you and your mom helped get me on a plane back to New York and then on to Michigan. Then you flew yourself to Detroit and waited all night in the airport to meet my morning plane. And you were at my side every day for a week while I buried my mom. Who does that? Oh, my little sweetheart...

We spent the last bit of that late May afternoon dangling our feet in the water off the dock behind my mom’s cottage. And I told you that I couldn’t believe that she was gone. I imagined how overjoyed she would be just now at our visiting together. That I could picture her right now coming out of the house with a tray and a huge smile on her face, so happy, and asking us “how about a root beer float?” I don’t even know why I thought specifically of that. It just came out. But I could I picture it.

Later, after we’d come inside and after you’d looked through some of those things I mentioned - the skeleton keys and wristwatches and everything, we packed up and started the drive back and as we drove we spotted a little roadside ice cream stand. It seemed fated. We had to stop. And we both got root beer floats, remember? Except you were trying to be sensible, so you got yours with non-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. And it was terrible. So, we shared mine. I can’t remember why I didn’t just buy you another one! Probably you wouldn’t let me.

I remember driving a lot that week. I don’t remember where all we had to go. Just running around getting things ready for the funeral and the memorial service and being there for the visiting hours and everything. I can’t remember if I told you this while were driving back from the lake that first day or if it was later when we were picking up your dress and my suit from the dry cleaners or something. I remember exactly where we were - going up the big hill by the hospital - but I don’t remember if it was that day. But we were driving right there and I said to you that whatever happened now, I needed to be with you more. I knew it was the most important thing in my life. To be with you. More than flying around to London or Seattle or Boston or LA and working in the theatre. More than writing. More than the band. More than anything. I knew I needed to be with you more. And I told you that. Even if we were going between New York and San Francisco every other week, it needed to be more.

I thought of this at the time, and I’ve thought of it since, today and everyday, and it comforts me some - that you and I were never apart for longer than three weeks ever from the day we met until the day you were taken from me. I wept every time we parted but we always already had another plan, knew exactly when we were next going to be together, when we were next on a flight to be in each others arms and that it never was more than three weeks away. But just then, I told you I needed to be with you even more. That I had to. Even if it was only a matter of time and all our projects - shoot the short film in San Francisco in July, record the next album in Brooklyn in the fall, do one play in The Mission after New Years, the next one in New York in the spring, shoot the feature in Davis that next July, you move to New York that fall (a whole room of your stuff was already here... and still is!) - I needed to be with you more. We had our plans mapped out. We’d be together for all of it and then you’d be here. You told me you wanted to live with me. And that’s what we were doing - having a life together (and just like you had a whole room of your stuff already here, you had a whole corner of your room and part of your closet full of my stuff there, too!). And in a little more than a year, it could even be more and every day. And I could see that. But even so, I knew in that moment that I needed to be with you more. And I told you. I told that, my little sweetheart.

Sometimes, often, when we suffer great loss, what’s important comes to the fore and everything else falls away. All the trivial and meaningless evaporates and we understand what’s really important. And I know you know that. More than anyone I’ve ever known, you get that. Not only because you’d lost your beloved older brother Jesse less than a year before I met you but because you had so many health struggles of your own all the way back to your childhood. I’ve never known, let alone fallen so deeply in love with, anyone so keenly aware of their own mortality and hence so ready to do things now. And to know what was really important. I needed to be with you more and I told you that.

One of the last things I talked to my mom about was my dad’s briefcase. My dad died when I was really just a kid. My dad died the year I moved to New York. You really were just a kid. You were 11! The last Thanksgiving I spent with my mom, my brother brought over some things he had in his garage, a couple of things he thought I might want. I always rented a car and drove out to see my mom at Thanksgiving and then she’d come back in the car with me and stay in New York for a few days after. So, that was always a good time for my brother to clean out his garage - I had a car, so I could take things off his hands and with me. He gave me my dad’s old briefcase. I recognized it immediately. It was a heavy old thing, a metal one, sorta. Very 70’s. He used to carry all his student’s papers and blue book exams and things like that in there. Because I was a writer, my brother thought maybe I would like it. That maybe I needed a briefcase. I didn’t know anyone who carried a briefcase anymore. Maybe lawyers. Did Jesse have a briefcase, little sweetheart? That would make sense.

Anyway, I took the briefcase home with me and stuck it on a shelf. I didn’t really know what to do with it. Then one day, months later, I opened it and it was full of memorabilia - photos and newspaper clippings and notes and one of my dad’s plaques for “Teacher of the Year” and a whole bunch of crazy tie clips and cufflinks and nicknacks. I took some pictures with my phone because they were all really offbeat, vintage oddities. I thought it might even be more likely that they were something of my grandfather’s - my mom’s dad - than my own father’s. I emailed the photos to my mom - it was the last conversation I had with her before I left for London, the last time I talked to her - and she told me she wasn’t totally sure. She thought they probably were my dad’s but she’d have a closer look when next she was here to visit…

Just a few weeks after my mom’s funeral, you came here to stay with me, little sweetheart, and I showed you all the stuff. I knew you‘d love it, just like the skeleton keys and wristwatches, and you had two great ideas. One was for me to use the briefcase as a gig bag for my guitar set-up - all my stomp boxes, all my effect pedals daisy-chained together. That there might even be a way to make it into a pedal board with the top detachable and the front panel folding down flat, so it could open up and be set on the floor next to my mic all ready to go. The other idea was, you really wanted to make some of the nicknacks into jewelry. I thought that was a great idea and I saved it all for you. I’m still saving it. I still am. This place is full of things I’m saving for you just as you left them. A closet full of clothes, your side of the bed, a corner of the refrigerator with some of your favorite treats and salad dressings and diet sodas. Lots of your treasures and little tools are here all ready for you. I’m saving them always. Because there’s still so much to do.

I remember you telling me that you have a very pretty picnic hamper at the house in Davis and that we could make a delicious lunch and pack it all up with a blanket under our arm and go for a hike somewhere lovely and have a nice long picnic together. Maybe even fall asleep in each others arms and take a little nap outside in the warm California afternoon. We haven’t had our picnic yet, little sweetheart. I want to do that with you. There are so many things yet to do together.

And there’s this picture of you that I found. It’s like something out of The English Patient. It’s you with some big goggles and a scarf wrapped around your head Bedouin-like from your first trip to Burning Man. I’d been called back to New York for jury duty and then was stuck in rehearsals for a play, so I couldn’t go but I was surprised that you were even going. You’re not crazy about hot weather and are very wary of the sun both because of your exceptionally fair skin and your extra susceptibility to all kinds of cancer including skin cancer due to the amino suppressants you have to take twice daily to keep your blessed little life-saving transplanted kidney and pancreas working so beautifully. I was surprised you went to the desert but you liked it. And you wanted me to come with you next time.

You told me all about it. I remember exactly where we were when you told me. We were walking back to your car parked on a side street in downtown Davis. That heavenly tree-lined haven, the beautiful little college town where we often retreated for days to uninterruptedly enjoy each others company, cooking, napping in the garden, watching our stories wrapped up in each other on the big comfy couch, sleeping wonderfully in each others arms under the pretty canopy in your bedroom, the distant freight trains lulling us to sleep at night and the pretty birdsong gently waking us in the mornings. (Not too early!)

I remember you excitedly telling me about Burning Man that day as we walked back to the car from that frozen yogurt place you liked. And you told me that you wanted me with you there next time. That we could sleep during the day when the sun was hot and at its zenith. We could sleep in our tent or maybe even an RV. Then after dusk, get up and go through the desert exploring the festival through the night. Maybe tooling around on bikes. You’d seen people do that. You were on foot that first time but maybe we could take bikes.

I’m like you, little sweetheart, not crazy about the idea of sand dust and desert weather, the heat and the sun. And I worry that I wasn’t enthusiastic enough when you told me that day. I worry about a lot of things, little sweetheart. I’m so heartsick about anything I ever may have done that didn’t seize the moment with you. That there could ever be even a moment of doubt. I love you with all my heart and soul, my little sweetheart. And I always always will. I don’t understand how time works or where you are just now exactly but we have so many many more things to do. All the things we talked about and planned and even more we haven’t thought of yet. And I want them all. I want to be with you. Desperately so. We’ve so many things more to do together, my little sweetheart. Please let them, let us, come to be. Forever.