Monday, September 5, 2005

Blast from the Past - A Karmic Soul Mate Returns

Reading over all the online websites about Katrina and listening to the horrific events on television and realizing how many people have lost their parents, their children, their friends makes me look back into my past and remember those who have made a difference in my life.

One such friend that made a difference was a young girl named Sharon.

Forty years ago, my sister and I left California for the Eastern Shore of Virginia. We were but children then - I, 10 and my sister, 5. Although I was born and raised on the shore up until my seventh birthday when my step-father got orders to Fort Ord, California, my home in Burbank became the first time I experienced what a family was all about. My father had left when I was a baby and shortly after my mother married my new daddy, we headed out to California.

I loved it. We'd get in so much trouble, my new friends and I, but they were memories I'll hold in my heart forever.

However, that all came to an end one summer evening when my aunt whisked us off to live with our grandmother, 3,000 miles away. Story for another time.

When I arrived to the "Shore," as the locals call it, everything was new again. While I loved my grandmother deeply and she was a fantastic surrogate mother during the time we stayed with her, the Eastern Shore wasn't quite exactly what I expected. Family helped. Cousins I hadn't seen for awhile and family reunions and going out to the hog pen with my uncle during feeding time. Quite different from California, I'm telling you.

However, I missed my friends greatly. Family is nice, but I missed going to my friend's houses and playing all those childhood games I was accustomed to.

My grandmother picked up on this sadness. Her best friend just so happened to have a daughter and, against all odds, she happened to be going in the same grade with me. To beat even more odds, her birthday and mine was only days apart - both Cancers!

The first time I met Sharon, I felt like I had known her all my life. We became fast friends and she is the reason why I even could survive being a newbie at our school. She was there for me all during my grade school years and into high school. However, boys intervened in our high school years and we kind of drifted apart.

Thirty years later, I found Sharon on She had joined the army after high school, but was now working at a NASA base in D.C.

I emailed her.

The first face-to-face meeting was two years ago at Thanksgiving. She was traveling to see her mother who still lived here on the shore and stopped by my workplace to say hello.

It was like time never passed.

We talked of our children, her children and my almost-divorce. We talked about friends we had gone to our school and what happened to them. We agreed that we would get together in the future when we both had more time and then she went away.

I still hear from her ocassionally. She's still in D.C. and I wonder if life is treating her well.

But it's when people touch your heart that they leave such an impression. She was someone who befriended a shy, gangly little girl and made her comfortable in her surroundings.

I'm wondering how many new lives will be started in the aftermath of Katrina. How many of these people are going to find these same samaritans out there who will befriend them and show them that there are people who do care. Hopefully, quite a few.

1 comment:

  1. Quite eloquent, Dorothy. You've got me thinking about posting a similar story of my own. Loved your manuscript, btw.


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