I’ve been sorting through boxes of artifacts of my life, the things that I assumed I’d use for writing fodder in my senior years. As the years passed, I envisioned my senior years spent finishing the memoir I’ve worked on in fits and starts.
Well, my senior years are here and writing has taken a back seat to my business, A Healing Spirit. Maybe even the third back seat in a huge SUV. So when I found decades worth of journals in some old boxes, I tried to resist reading them all, knowing I could get lost for days in memories.
How I wish I’d kept a journal more consistently! I’d always thought to myself. But paging through these old volumes I saw that I’d pretty much covered every major event in my life. Just flipping through at random, I found:
- The day I met my late BFF, who inspired A Healing Spirit
- My first 18 months in California with my 23 year old live in boyfriend (I was 33).
- My single years after he and I split. The good, the bad and the ugly and especially the fun I had with a couple who were a bit older but so much fun. The wife died just this year.
- The day I met the two daughters of a guy I briefly dated and fell in love with them instead of him.
- The first day of training for the volunteer work I did with the AIDS and HIV+ community.
- Various trips for work and for pleasure. My marriage to my last husband and our honeymoon in Provence. Michael’s return.
And also, an entry from 2002 in which I’m looking out over the bay waiting for a colleague who was also a friend to arrive for drinks and dinner. That is, I thought she was a friend.
A couple years later she stabbed me in the back with a client in the most manipulative of ways. It cost me that client. It was what she intended.
I was blindsided and shocked, since that’s not the way I roll, and, I’d thought she was a friend. It seemed a strange thing for her to do and out of character, I thought at the time.
She died some years later, too young. She was a force in the community and so every year on the anniversary of her death I see social media posts lauding her and her legacy, and my mind goes back to what happened. I wonder if anyone else had an experience like mine. If so, they wouldn’t dare talk about it. Even I kept it to myself, mostly.
Thinking about it now, I can see I was an easy target. I’ve never wanted or been impressed by power and position or even respected it. Secretly, I called chamber of commerce events masturbation lunches and our community leaders had a lot of them. Hours and hours spent congratulating themselves on how great they were. No, not for me. As a result, I held no position in the community or power over her one way or another. I just did my job to the best of my ability, grew my client base and was quite happy doing that. Self-actualized, even. So stabbing me in the back was risk-free, for her.
Lots of time has passed since that episode and some years since her death. Funny how things turn out.
I’m not a grudge holder, although I come from a long line of them, and she and I made peace of sorts a couple years before she died. You might say I forgave her. But I never did get over being puzzled at why she did what she did, given that the win she gained was ill-gotten, unethical. She didn’t even need it.
But none of that had yet unfolded as I waited for her in 2002, looking out at an overcast sky shadowing the Gulf and maybe, foreshadowing her all too short future.