Meat!! Glorious meat!

…albeit expensive meat πŸ˜‰

Read this story in a news feed of some or other organisation. Your risk of getting stomach and colon cancer increases with a whole 6%! Wow! I’m going to stop eating processed meat. Right. This. Minute! Β  Β Not!!!

They basically put all meat in the same boat. Meat causes cancer. Especially red meat en processed meat.

I’m not a scientist. I’m not a bleeding heart, nor very liberal when it comes to crunch time. And I certainly don’t believe everything I read! And even if I did, I would not take this study all that seriously. 34 000 people in the world die annually of cancer related to a diet rich in processed meat. Don’t think that’s quite enough people to warrant a death warning and for the meat suppliers to get up in arms.

As long as there are people, they are going to eat meat. And really, Not many things are quite as tasty as a nice crispy piece of smoked bacon! Not even a juicy steak or a well made bolognaise πŸ˜‰ Hot dogs with cheese and fried polony, salami and cabanoci – yeah. Can’t see myself not eating those.

Aside from the processed meat, meat as a food source are plentiful and it does not take as long to mature for eating like veggies do. I know. We have both a veggie garden and a bit of a rabbit farm in my back yard. Not that we actually do farm with the rabbits, they are there in case something untoward happen – my aunt the conspiracy theorist!! The rabbits, from birth to eating weight, maybe six months. The veggies? Been in the ground since beginning of winter and they’re still not ready for harvesting. If you get caught in the wilderness with no real knowledge of which plants are edible and which aren’t, it will probably be in your best interest to devise a trap and catch yourself an animal – unless you want to either starve, die from eating poisoned mushrooms or eat your own leg. And if you’re stuck in the wilderness in winter, well. Bad luck to you if you are not prepared to eat animal flesh.

I’m not even that big a meat eater. It’s an expensive food stuff here in the suck heap so I stick mainly to chicken, which I don’t like at all, and minced beef. On the odd occasion where I am able to splurge, I like to get a nice bit of mutton, but those are far and very few between. Also, since I’m alone, I stick to processed meats – easy to prepare, tasty to eat and you get them in smaller quantities that your normal cuts so it makes sense to me.

No. I’m not a vegan. Doubt I will ever be that. But I don’t eat meat with every meal and certainly not every day.

That’s me though. The world is filled with people that are so gullible they believe every thing they read and go right out and follow every new fad causing major chaos Suppose that’s why the meat industry are in uproar πŸ˜‰

That being said. My grandparents ate meat every day of their lives for 90 odd years. Neither of them had cancer. My mom, who does not eat meat every day, did have cancer. So I’m inclined to think that the problem is not really meat as such, but lifestyle. And probably the times we;re living in. If you’re just going to eat the good things, namely meat, and not do anything to negate those, you’re likely going to get sick. Be it cancer, cholesterol, high blood pressure – something will go wrong. Add to that all the additives to meat while growing and the general sickness of the earth, and you have yourself a problem.

The key, I think, is balance. Balance your diet with just enough animal protein, vegetable vitamins, calcium and the like, couple that with drinking enough water and not only coke or coffee, and do a spot of exercise every so often and you should in all probability not have to worry too much about the WHO – and I’m not talking about the band πŸ˜‰

Unless of course they halt production of bacon, in which case I may have to start my own riot!!


…and how we deal with it.

As I sit here, thinking what words to use on an extremely slow connection, the wind is blowing outside. Scary gusts sweeping the trees hither and tither – hopefully bringing much needed rain, but if not, a reminder of nature’s absolute might and complete disdain for mortal beings. I can only imagine what it must feel like waiting for a hurricane to strike. My son is in Louisiana now – here’s hoping he’s all right and shortly back home safely.

Anyhow. Grief. We’ve all had grief in our lives. Every single thing that happens to you, makes you grieve. I think all endings do, be it a book, a relationship, a life, a job, a school career – once it ends, and everything as you know it, changes, you grieve. And grief is a process like any other. You have stages that you need to go through. And if you don’t, you’ll get stuck and not able to let go and move on. But you must.

Why I thought to do this post was this blog. bear in mind, these are just my personal musings. I am in no way negating the author’s very real emotions, As the author rightly says, some things can only be borne. Be handled to the best of your ability. Where I think he’s wrong, is that it’s a continuous thing. That you can’t deal with the loss of a child. That you will never be rid of the debilitating fearΒ such a thing conjures up. Just thinking that I may lose my children fills me with dread – it is the nightmare I have most often. I wake, my face wet with tears and a deep abiding sorrow, so no. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to lose a child. What I do know is that not even grief like that lasts forever. When my father died, I was broken. Could not imagine a life where he was not available. Where I could not speak to him or let him listen to a cool tune, or just give him a hug when I see him. It’s been 14 years and I do still miss him. But the loss is not as deep as it was. Because, yes. life does actually go on.

And where I disagree with the author the most is that you must immerse yourself in that kind of grief forever because no platitude means anything. Sure, platitudes suck for the most part. Mostly because people use them at completely the wrong time. You need to grieve. You need to get angry and rail against the powers that be. But you also need to accept. And to choose – do I let my whole life be swallowed by this grief or do I move through it and keep on trying to see that there is something worth living for.

I once knew a woman. She used to blog with us way back when. She lost her son – he committed suicide and she found him. Horrifying. Absolutely horrifying. I can never make light of that and I’m not going to. What I’ve always thought when I read one of her blogs though, was that she needs to let go of her son. Not because it’s easy, it’s not. Because it was necessary. For her husband, her other son, her life. A life she lived around seeing her dead son again. Personally, I think she felt guilty. Maybe because of something she said before he died, or the way she treated him before he died. Maybe just because she thought she did not deserve life. I don’t know. Maybe she was happy with her life the way it was. Maybe it made her happy to miss the child, happy that he was spared a difficult life. i don’t know. But I do think she may have been able to be a more involved mom for her second child, a more available wife for her husband – whose child the passed one was not. so, instead of focusing on the husband and son she did have, where she could have made a difference, she chose to concentrate on the one that was beyond all help. Running away maybe? Not wanting to face reality? As I said, I don’t know. Can’t even imagine her reasons. But it brings to mind the point I’m trying to make.

You may not always like what happens to you. Some days you’re up, other days you’re down. The best you can do is to learn how to row, or steer.

I see the effects of holding on to every slight and bother and grief, no matter how small or insignificant, in my sister. She’s never forgiven the man that caused our father’s death. It was an accident, could have happened to any one. But she chooses to hold on to that hate. Hold on to the fact that that man killed our father. Instead of remembering what a great dad he was, how blessed we were to have him, to see how many people still remember him fondly – all those things are lost because she did not work though her grief to get to the other side and accept the fact that my father is gone. He will stay gone. No amount of hate and blaming or guilt is going to bring him back. It will only keep her from living a life that could speak as a testimony to the upbringing our father gave us – and it has.

Back to the blog in question. He says that tribulations has made him hard and cynical. I think that affects us all to a degree. Does that make you a bad person? I don’t think so. It just makes you weigh your options better next time you’re faced with adversity. You can’t make pain go away. You can, however, accept that it is a part of your life. That it will always be there. But you don’t need to let it hold you back from living a full life.

I know I carry on about my dude. it’s been years since I’ve heard anything from him. For all I know he has forgotten me already. And I know it has coloured my view of relationships. But it’s not pain I carry with me, it’s the loss of something that I know, deep down inside, only worked because of the situation we were in. It may not have worked in the real world. In fact, probably would not have. And in holding on to the emotions we shared all those years ago, I’m not letting myself have a full enough life. I’m letting my sorrow at the loss hold me back from finding an available man and letting him into my life. That, however, is a decision I have made. I’d rather be alone and miss him, than settle for somebody that will not accept me, and worse, will not like me for who and what I am.

The biggest prison is the one we build for ourselves out of fear and regrets. Words I heard in an episode of Warehouse 13 of all places, but true, nevertheless. You can let your guilt and regrets rule you, or you can rule them. I might sound callous. But I’ve been through this. The regrets of a failed marriage, the guilt about my children’s emotional well-being, the fear of living my life on my own. The fact that so many days I wanted to just die. when i did not feel worth the oxygen I used in breathing.

But I’ve come to realise. I AM worth living a decent life. Should I need to meet a man that’s worth knowing, I will – when the time is right.

My mom asked me a question the other day. Since the sister is going through a less than amicable divorce, they will all have to move. Away from the nice big house and flatlet they’re living in now to something quite a bit less substantial. And mom will have to come and live with me in a pokey room in a house filled with cats and dogs and dust and unwashed dishes. Until we can build her something of course. She’s turning 70 next year and she asked me – How much more must I give up? Have I not sacrificed enough? My answer to her was that she will probably have to give up until she understands what she needs to understand -whatever that is. Fact is, your lessons do not end when you’re old. They continue. Because you are a work in progress until the day you die. You can never become complacent. Never rest on your laurels. Never just be. You have to keep learning, accepting, changing – until you are where you need to be – spiritually.

To end with. Life is a continuous journey. One you can’t skip. One you can’t gloss over. One you have to live through, learn from and grow from. And the only time that does not happen is when you hold on to the past because you’re afraid of the future.

Songs of loss and joy. Bonne nuit

On Love stories

We all have one. At least.

I’ve read my fair share of romance novels. Probably more than my fair share if l think about it. They have a recipe. Beautiful, but struggling girl,meets beautiful and successful man. They are attracted but fight it. Externals come into play, they break up. They get together again and they all live happily ever after.

Well. It’s a story. No need for it to be realistic. Although, that’s what grated my nuts when l read the lone Grey novel. It was like a Betty Heels heroine met a Penny Jordan hero. They are two M & B writers. Guess which one l enjoyed most? Nope, not ms Neels! Probably just me, but when l read a romance, l like to imagine myself in the character’s place. And with the grey situation,l could not.

Lately I’ve come across love stories that are closer to life, grittier than your Barbara Cartlands, closer to actual life, making them just a tad more believable and me more inclined to believe that l could, once again, have my own love story.
Alas. As the heroines became more real, the heroes did not. The men are still idealised versions. Even though they have issues, they are prepared to work on those issues since they want to win the woman’s heart. They do not let those issues rule them right out of a decent life. And so far I’ve not come across a male that was prepared to do that.
Then again, the longer you’re alone, the more precious your solitude becomes to you. In my case, if l had to spend every weekend visiting a boyfriend, nothing would ever get done around here! The few months no spent with C made that clear. So, a compromise have t be entered into. But they never get to the point where a compromise could be formed. Because, instead of looking at it realistically and realising we’re separate people with separate lives, we believe in the stylised version as depicted in books and movies. And choose to want the perfection they offer instead of the reality in front of them.

Nobody wants to read about laundry being done or leaking toilets that has to be fixed with money that you don’t have, so nobody writes about it. But the reality is, those things are a very real part of real people’s lives and, as such,must be take into account. I can’t see myself spending ever waking moment with somebody without worrying about the things that has to be done while I’m off gallivanting all over the place. But l also know you want to. You want to immerse yourself in the love affaire. You don’t want to be left out in the cold, alone and lonely when you have a perfectly good person to alleviate the loneliness and emptiness.

And that,my dear people, is why humans should fall in love while they’re still young, still unencumbered with all the above mentioned things. Before they become selfish with their time and personal space. While they still have the green wood that can bend rather than hardwood that breaks. While hope is still a thing with wings and the world is just waiting for you to change it.
The older you get, the more set in your ways you get. The more time you spend on your own, the more difficult it becomes to allow another into that space you’ve created and the more exasperating it gets because you want to, but you don’t know how.

NaNoWriMo is around the corner again. And l still have a love story that l want to write into being. A love story that l can believe in. One that l can, hopefully, one day make real. Suppose it’s easier,wading through the emotional pitfalls in the pages of a book rather than in real life!

KT Tunstall – Hold On:

on missing…

Sometimes you just do.

It’s been a while since I’ve had any male/female interaction other than work related. The one date I have been on turned into your typical name-calling fiasco when I refused to let the drunkish man come to my house – he seemed to think that paying for a whisky and some food gave him the right to a soft landing place for the evening. Even though I wanted to pay for my own food, precisely to stop that from happening. Suffice to say, that experience made me even more leery of even bothering to try and meet somebody worth knowing.

Now, when I talk about missing, I’m not talking sex. In this day and age, one does not need another human to reach orgasm – not the same, no, but much safer, physically as well as emotionally and the end result is the same – more or less.

No. When I talk about missing, I’m thinking about what a man smells like. How his shoulders feel when you wrap your arms around him. How it feels to play with the hair in his neck. The scratching of stubble on your cheek and that thrill of all thrills, a beard in your neck. The comfort of being able to touch another person, and being touched in return. The curling around when you sleep at night, the little shared looks and activities that make up a relationship.

These are a few of my favourite things πŸ˜‰

I thought about it the other day while watching Supernatural, again. Strange place to be reminded of what you’re missing, human touch wise, but it was vampire Benny and he does have the most delicious accent, so I would not at all have minded to be able to wrap my arms around him and hear that voice in my ear, whispering sweet nothings, or rather, pertinent facts, in my ear!! Alas. All I could do was watch it on screen, while another chick got to hold on to him, wrapping her arms around his neck, fingers sliding through the hair on his neck and I realised that that kind of familiarity and comfort is what I would like to have. Not to feel uncomfortable touching the other person, or being afraid to touch them when and where you want.

I’m not talking about groping them in public, that’s distasteful – doing it, having it done to you and having to see it done, so no. Nothing like that. But to be able to run your fingers through his hair when the wind mussed it, or just because you feel the need to touch – that would be quite lovely. To hide your face in his neck, smelling the essence of him, and feeling safe.

Yeah. I’m missing somebody I might never meet. Or rather, what I had with my dude. Which is futile and needs to stop, sooner rather than later. Then again. I know what it feels like to be loved, completely and utterly, without reserve, without compunction – why on earth should I settle for anything less than that?

And there-in lies the problem. There are many men out there. Some of them may even be good men. But they are also spoilt men. The have the pick of very well looked after cougars. Women of experience, means and opportunity, prepared to put up with a lot more diva-behaviour than I’ve ever been. They have the choice of women – thin, big, tall, small, blonde, brunette – and here I rock up. Neither thin nor blonde, neither rich, nor inclined to deal with stupid issues – makes it difficult to find a person to be comfortable and familiar with. No. Knowing me is not a walk in the park. I never said that. I’m known for making uncomfortably true remarks. I am what I am, made that way through my experiences. And looking after yourself for a few years does tend to make you a bit wary of idiots. I read somewhere that Rachel Welch, I think, said – there are no hard women. Only soft men. And I can relate to that in a major way. Β But, as with the fiasco date, names will be uttered and even though I could not really be bothered what you call me, I’d really rather go through life not having to deal with your particular inadequacies. I’ve had to deal with my own issues. Still do that on a daily basis. And because I know everybody has their own problems, I do try not to make mine theirs. It’s the least I can do for my fellow human beings.

Life, as we know it, always goes on. It does not stop regardless of what you’re struggling with. And I’ve gotten good at forging the turbulent waters. But it would be marvelous to share some of that turbulence with somebody that can help me row the boat for a bit…

Hope your weekend is a good one – I have to fix my fishpond this weekend and that will entail mixing a few bags of cement and plastering the whole thing – yet again! Still. It’s good, hard, honest work and I will be able to see the fruits of my labour once done. Have a good one!!

Pet Cemetery

Was going to do a post about the idiot kids that’s trashing the country as we speak, but no. They will do what they will do and noting l say will make an iota of difference to the situation.
So, l thought I’d regale you with a story of my cat. The big black and white one. The real life tomcat. He was never spayed so l presume he sowed his wild oats widely πŸ˜‰ And that is a big part of this story.
The old man, Chaplin as he was known, would wander off and stay wandering for months on end. Then he’d come home and stay for a while and then be off again.
Alas. The last visit home was to be his last. He came home and was fine for a while but he seemed to have used up all nine of his lives. He died one morning and l buried him in my garden right outside my bedroom window. Pets die – they are a part of your life for a while and then they go away, leaving you with a somewhat emptier life, albeit richer for having had the experience.
Back to the wild oats sowing.
A few weeks after his death, the cats l have in the house woke me up with their fighting. It’s happened before – unfortunately a side effect of having cats. They don’t generally worry about where and when they fight. In actual fact, l think they wait for the time when you would get the biggest fright and then they have at it – not much fun at all. In this instance l did not see the other cat hey were fighting with. I did see it the second time the fight happened. And it was the spitting image of the cat currently lying buried underneath my bedroom window. Same size, same markings, same movements…
Ever read or seen Pet Cemetery? If you have, you will know exactly what l’m talking about!!
Picture this. You’re fast asleep. Next minute you are rudely awakened by the screaming of fighting cats, right in your room. Add to that the sight of a supposedly dead animal walking,or rather, running around in your bedroom and what your eyes are telling you as opposed to what your brain know – utterly mind-numbing terror! I woke,  screaming myself, scattering cats, waking the neighbours, and possibly people in the next six  streets, not to mention the block and jumped out of bed,chasing the blasphemous being out in front of me. I actually went to Chaplin’s grave to go and check that he has not indeed clawed his way out if it. Nope. He did not. As far as I could see the rocks on his grave were undisturbed.
No,it was not my old Chaplin. It must have been one of hiss of spring that frightened the life out of me.
When all was settled, l realised something else was wrong. I’d lost my loose tooth cap. I had t walk around with  gap in my mouth – not quite a love gap, but still. Not the way one would like t be out in the world. I’m still being teased about that tooth and probably always will.
And there you have it. Should l have to bury another animal in my garden, heaven forbid, l think I’ll pour a ring of salt around it – just to keep any possible ghosts in check!

As mentioned before in passing, l joined Toastmasters here in SA. And l will have to make my first speech in the near future. No particular topic, just to break the ice and l thought that this essay may not be a bad idea for a first speech – think it’s any good? Anything you think l should add or remove? I would welcome any constructive criticism. Bear in mind, this is an actual true story πŸ˜‰


Man’s best friend.

But. If you get one with a pedigree, then, not so much. And, if you have to look after somebody else’s pedigree, even less. Not that we have a pedigree dog, or rather, not one we paid actual money for, but this little mite has all the quirks and foibles of a pedigree dog, without the pedigree papers.

I like dogs. Like cats more, but dogs fill a different role in a person’s life. They are more involved, and more dependent on you than any cat. They like to be close, and there’s no welcome like a dog’s welcome.

That being said. I have a few breeds that does absolutely nothing for me. Not because they’re not good dogs or not cute dogs or ugly or anything, I just don’t like them – mostly through dealings with other people’s dogs. Sausage dogs are one of these breeds. Never thought my doorstep would be darkened by a sausage dog of any kind. Shows you how much the Universe loves a good joke!

In March of this year, my mom stands in my garden, watering. I’m busy with something else at the back of the house. I hear her calling and come running around the corner. She tells me not to worry, my aunt has already gone to see if she could help. Turns out the being that needed help was an emaciated sausage dog. Not bad mange yet, but covered in fleas, burnt paws from walking, dehydrated – a walking skeleton.Β IMG_6379

Young dog still, but the poor thing. It really was the most horrible sight. Looked like he’s been lost in the streets for a while. Probably ran out of where he belonged and ended up in my street right at the time that my mom was looking out and just when my aunt needed something that she could call her own. She, I think, needed to feel useful as much as the dog needed somebody to take care of him.


Life went on, and the young man was nursed back to health with lots of tender morsels and egg mixed milk. He turned into a king that was coddled and looked after and made himself the ruler of the whole roost – Ben and Cujo included! He looks like one of Ben’s spots fell off but is as ferocious as a tiger!

And, he’s spoilt. Rotten. My aunt would make him porridge in the morning that gets given to him while he’s still in his little bed/tunnel thing. He parks on her every chance he gets. He has well and truly come home.

Then, the aunt went to Thailand. She’s there for three months. And I, Ghia, get to look after her menagerie. 10 rabbits. 2 chickens, 6 quail. And one sausage dog. He’s got a hard life with me. Gets food twice a day, no tidbits. Gets washed once a week, maybe. Gets petted when I get home. Is left alone all day. Gasp!! Outside! He does not go everywhere with me like he did with my aunt. But he does get to lie on my couch. Wrapped in his blanket.Β IMG_7442 IMG_7434 IMG_7519

Or curled up in my couch pillows. No, he does not sleep just like that. No way will he sleep just on the floor! He will sleep on a pillow. Or on the floor wrapped in his blanket. And he does not just lie on the blanket – he’s only happy when everything is covered by it…

He’s a handful. One I did not want or need. But he is quite the cutest dog, other than my Ben of course.

He’s lord of the manor, and everything else allows him πŸ˜‰


A note…

…to say: l’m not gone. 

Just had a gloriously busy Monday! 

Don’t you just love days like that? No time for lamenting and bemoaning your lot, just busy doing things, feeling all productive and stuff…

After all, it’s only Monday. Not like you’re getting married again πŸ˜‰

Still. It was a good day.

Dear Peggy

It’s been a long time. And now it’s going to be never. 

Death. The Great Equalizer. The one thing that ends everything. The one thing that there’s no coming back from.  The thing that makes us regret the things we should have done but neglected to do. 

I was wrapped up in my own misery. Wrapped up in mu own hurt feelings, running away from the world. And l missed your passing. I hid from everything and every one and l did not tell you how much you meant to me. Did not keep up with your life the way you did me. 

It’s to late now. The Reaper took you. Yes, you were ill. It was only a matter of time. Time that l did not take and make use of. Because l was hiding. Trying to not get hurt yet again. I only found out by accident  that you were no more. 

So l thought l’d write you a letter. You will never read it and for that l am sorry. But you have been in my thoughts. Always. 

You would like what my life has become. I am less fearful. More inclined to show sympathy. More willing to see the other side. Less righteous. I don’t make promisesl know l can’t keep, l just live my life as set down in the Word. The Word we both shared. I’m not perfect. But l am striving to become better. 

My dearest Peg. Rest in peace in the Lord’s arms. Hopefully you will know that you have played a big part in my life even though it was from afar. And l will not forget you. As long as you live in people’s hearts, you will never be forgotten. Your death were the catalist for me bo oming active again. Life’s too short to hide from everything you’re scared of. The biggest prison is the one we build for ourselves out of fear and regret. So. I will be less fearful, braver. And hopefully, have less regrets. 

I will miss you Peg. But l know you are better off now than you have been in life. Hope you went gently. 

All my love. 



Very well. 

We all know l adore my particular phone. So much so that l would marry it if such a thing was possible πŸ˜‰

But l mainly use my phone to read. So, as l would hide behind a book in public, l can now hide behind my phone. Compact and easy to use. I check FB and e mails, but hardly ever have any actual communication with the phone. 

Therefore, l don’t spend all my time chatting to people, disappearing into cyberspace, not interacting with my surroundings, oblivious to the world around me. 

Most of the people out there though, they have no such compunctions. The one chick at work has been hauled over the coals for her constant phone use. Everywhere you look, people are staring at their phones. Couples, kids, family – can’t have a conversation with them because they’re always chatting to somebody else… Quite irritating actually!

Today, on my way back from my most favourite place in the world – the hardware store, l saw a dude. Not half bad looking either, but what caught my attention was his car. A magnificent, bloodred, sixty somethng Mustang. Beautifully restored, shining in the sunlight – a beauteous beast. I would have liked to make my appreciation clear, showing a thumbs up and a smile…

Alas. He was on his phone. Not looking around him. If it was me in a car like that, l would have been looking around me, ready for the adulation of he crowd, accepting my dues for driving such a lovely thing. Not this guy though. The phone was more important than the admiration of a random chick. 

These phones! Can’t live without them, can’t flirt with them πŸ˜‰

Hope your Saturday was a good one. 


… I’m back.

After way too many months, I have decided to break my silence. I miss blogging. I miss the people I blogged with. And I will do everything I can to do this thing right and proper and to enjoy it as I once did before I let externals stop me from enjoying this as I used to.

I’m breaking my silence with a happy birthday wish.

Not a fellow blogger, or even somebody on my cyber friends’ list. My dude. The Yank. It’s his birthday today. 54 I think – more than a half century of being alive and five of those years, loved by me. Don’t suppose that will ever go away, regardless of how stupid and futile and morbid it may be – the heart wants what the heart wants.

Still, it’s not a bad day even for the love that’s far away and long ago. It’s a good day. A day to be celebrated. A person worth knowing was born on this day in 1961. He lived a life that made him a person worth knowing and when I met him, it was as if everything made sense. It still does.

I don’t know if he still reads me like I know he did some time back. But, because I can’t contact him directly, I will do this on the web for everybody to see just what an impact he had on my life. Still does…

Hey S πŸ˜‰

Today is your birthday. I hope it’s a happy one, filled with the love and laughter you deserve for being who you are. You have been in my thoughts a lot lately. Things have happened that made me miss our time together. I’ve experienced things that brought home to me just how much we did share in the while we loved and lived. Your poem still rests in my wallet, never far from me, a tangible reminder of what we meant to one another and, in a way, still do.

I heard Stardust again yesterday. Every time I hear that song, things just tighten. My eyes become watery, my heart aches, my body remembers. Sure, missing you is an exercise in futility. Something that will never be. It does not stop the memories from coming. They are always at the back of my head, like something precious that needs to be taken out every so often, looked at, dusted off and put back on the shelves, ready for when I feel melancholy again.

One sad thing. My computer’s hard drive crashed. With all our pictures on it. Our Iraq experience, our Istanbul trips – all gone. When they broke into my house two years ago, they stole the Harley t shirts you got me. The necklace you gave me, the bracelet you gave me. But those are all just things. The memories of you and our time together will never be forgotten, nor can it be stolen. It will live in my heart forever. They are such a big part of my life that I’m thinking of building my first Toastmaster speech around the song Stardust and the memory of you. Think it will be a hit – we were good together.

I saw something today that made me cackle with laughter. A chick in traffic with a sticker on her car – remember the two in the pink, one in the stink? Oh man, I laughed and laughed. Just another reason why I thought to send you this missive. Because, as happened when we met, things have happened these past few days that strengthened my resolution to send you something on your birthday. Β I can’t be there in the flesh, much as I would have like to wake you up with coffee and a kiss, take you out for breakfast, or spend the day doing things you love, maybe go for a ride, or a drive out to the countryside and have a picnic, or even a whole weekend away, filled with love and laughter and the joy of togetherness.

My life has changed in so many ways since the last time we talked. Good things have happened, as have bad things, all serving to make me a better, stronger person.

But no matter how much I’ve changed, you will always be a constant. Not as much a reminder as a guideline, maybe even a goal. Although I think we set the bar to high for other people to match what we had. Still. Every day that passes, I’m more inclined to think that I should leave well alone and just live my life on my own with the memory of at least one relationship that did not fail because I was a horrible and uncomfortable person to be with.

Anyhow S. If you read this, you should know that you are in at least one person’s thoughts today and always. I hope the next year brings you more good than bad, more laughs and less tears, more happiness than sorrow, more love than hate. Hope you will feel sheltered in your loved ones’ embrace, content with your life.

And, as always, dream a little dream of me.

You will always be in my thoughts, my prayers and my heart.