Sunday, December 18, 2011

Address Books

I decided this weekend to buy a new address book. It became apparent while checking addresses for Christmas cards that the time had come. Firstly because the book is very old and tattered and swollen from a time long ago when it was left out in the rain. Secondly because it is not very up to date...

Leafing through was nostalgic, and not just a little sad. Many, many names in that book are for people who have no forwarding address. At least not one that I know of. My mother, my aunts, my husband's cousin, my son's beloved violin teacher, my friend - all have gone across the threshhold of this life, to somewhere other.

And then there are the divorces. The places where a spouses name has been crossed out. Sometimes another name written in.

There are the old addresses of my children as they have moved from here to there. University dorms, little rental flats, sublets.

There are the names of friends I have simply lost touch with. Would these phone numbers still work? Would they remember me?

There were pieces of past jobs - the women I volunteered at La Leche League with, the names of teenaged mothers I supported, the colleagues from a Family Center I helped start up.

There are names of singing teachers, therapists, and neighbours who have moved on. Well either I have moved on, or they have.

There are lists of all my daughter's high school friends as I tried to be a good mother and know where she was and who she was hanging out with.

There are notes made because no other paper was available regarding breastfeeding questions and concerns that came to me via the telephone.

And yes, there are names and addresses and phone numbers that are there, and have remained unchanged for decades. There is stability amidst those water stained pages.

There is a part of me that doesn't want to let this old book go. I think that is why I am writing this blog, so I don't forget those names.

There was also a note to read a book: A heartbreaking work of staggering genius. I will get on that too - one can't ignore such signs.

Shannon, Sidney, Lisa, Daniella, Jocelyn, Sierra, Janine, Connor, Kiyo, Danielle, Jaqui, Alice, Oma (Joan) (Mom), Auntie Georgie, Aunt Joan, Gorge Harbour, Mr. and Mrs. Jack, Aunt Jean, Fran, Stacey, Wallace, Evelyn, Dan, Lorraine and Nelson, Shauna, Mike, Sylve, Gary, Rosemary, Norm and Violet,Veronica, and Lynn -this one is for all of you. Wherever this life or the next has taken you, may you be at peace.

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