Missing you already…

2/20/11

I think Charley is right. I think we have a reached a point where most of the questions that are truly important have been answered and what has been discovered since this all began is beyond astounding. How silly I must have sounded in the beginning, when all I could think about was finding the identity of the shooter. Now in light of all, his comment that his death was just the tip of the iceberg makes much more sense. Oh Charley…how could I have known? Who would have guessed everything that had led up to it and then after it? Well… there are a few we know. Those who are still very much alive- they could have guessed it all and more. I imagine that is why they found me such a source of amusement back then. I mean really- how could you have pulled a bloody rabbit like this out of a hat and been right?

The book begins with a reading from R and I know it will eventually end with one as well. Charley still sits atop my writing desk, but while he visits less often… I know he is still here when I need him. Unlike R, I do not receive those direct communications- at least not the way she does. But I know when he is here with me. I do. There is a gentleness that comes across the features of his 8 x 10 when he is in residence. His eyes soften and the Mona Lisa smile tugs its way into a slight grin. I confess I miss his company on days when I cannot feel him near. He has been constant these last 18 months and I have become accustomed to his companionship as one becomes accustomed to the background noise of trains in the night or cars passing over a nearby bridge. We are inseparable now… Charley and I. Forever we will be bound to one another by his death, his children and his grandchildren and this book.

When I look back… I see all the strings and pieces that pulled us all together through the years and I am amazed that all was orchestrated with such deliberate ease. A move here, a shift there… a meeting by chance and a chance to meet… and in the end, nothing left to chance at all! No…you and I, Charley? We were before the stars; always destined to help one another from either side of the fence. I owe you a debt of gratitude for answering a child’s multitude of questions. What lies on the other side? Can you see me? Will you remember me? Will I be forgotten?

Carly Simon wrote a song that I always loved about the death of her mother. She wanted to know things like…Does Benjamin Franklin dance on the face of the moon? Does the rain still make you sad? Clearly she had questions too she hoped her mother could answer from the other side.

On my phone I have two saved messages from my father. One is from Thanksgiving and the other from just before he died. I had called him for his birthday and he had missed the call. When he called back, I missed his and so to make a long story, short… telephone tag ensued and finally a voicemail gifted me this: he thanked me for the call and for the “remembrance” of his birthday. At the time I thought it an odd expression. He died shortly after his 82 Birthday; just 4 days after he had come to see a production of mine. It is the last time any of us have him on film. I loved and love my father and was gifted a great many years with him; although I will say most candidly that I got to know him best the years after my mother’s death. His great gift of empathy and his caring ways were amplified in her absence. Caretaker without his charge, he was lost among the living- just going through the motions of life until he could be with her again. He could have gone sooner, but I believe our mother encouraged him to stay so that we might mine the gifts he possessed before he left. All this to say, I am sorry that Julie was denied such. Parents often teach us how to grow old with grace and dignity and with both hers now being gone and compromised by tragedy- she will travel this road alone without guardrail of mentoring.

So Charley, dearest friend… I thank you for the time you have shared with me. Do not stray far, but do not hold yourself back for want of a better place for me. Just promise to visit every now and then. Guide me as I write your story. Help me be effectual in your cause and pray that you have chosen wisely the vessel of your justice.

I am spent…missing you already.

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