There Are People Who Never Leave Your Heart.
August 15, 2009
This afternoon I was sorting through some books and came across a book you had sent to me, a forgotten treasure. I opened “Courage to Change” and on the inside cover was an inscription from you: To Rebekah, The most courageous girl I know. Always my love, Robert. I don’t know where you are or where to send this postcard, but I’m feeling the need to connect, to conjure our brief time together in Oban and the Isle of Mull all those years ago. Sometimes I look at the snapshots of you standing on the pier in Craignure waving to me as the ferry pulled away & headed to Oban. As your sister, Mary, said to me, You know things, Rebekah. I knew that I would see you again. And I did. And those two days we spent in Oban were some of the most tender and bittersweet of my life.
Robert waving to me from the Craignure Pier.
September 23, 2009
Me again. I sent the last postcard to your sister Mary. I hope it reaches her and I hope it reaches you. When I was in Scotland in May this year, you haunted my every step. I walked the paths we walked, gazed at the bay we sat by and talked for hours and heard the caw of the crows that always alerted me to your presence. But you weren’t there with your crackling blue eyes and full lips under your neatly trimmed mustache. No one spoke to me in that soft Scottish brogue with the lyrical undertone of Gaelic.
I miss you,
Robert, Mary, Rebekah, Malcolm, Ian. Rebekah’s going away party.
October 30, 2009
You appeared to me last night, just like you did years ago when you were having surgery and I knew you had appeared for a reason. This time, I don’t know why you appeared. I hope it’s not a bad sign. I can’t get the music of your sweet voice out of my ear. Can’t close my eyes without feeling your touch. I wish I knew where you were and I suppose I hope you are happy, but I’d rather you’d be happy with me.
Ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull
November 15, 2009
Still trying to reach you. Now that I’ve started I can’t let it go. Thinking of when you told me you came into the Isle of Mull Hotel, on the advice of your sister, where I was working the summer of 1995. She thought we should meet. You told me later that I was busy helping behind the bar so you just stayed back and watched me as I pulled a pint of Guinness for a guest. You said I had the brightest aura of anyone you’d ever seen. It’s still shining bright. How many light years are you away from me? Pulling a pint of Guinness is an art form that takes patience. I have the patience to wait for you.
Rebekah & Susan, Ceilidh Place, Craignure, Isle of Mull
December 1, 2009
I don’t know if I’ll keep sending these post cards, but I feel the need to keep writing to you. Maybe the stars are in the same alignment they were in 17 years ago when we met. Whatever is going on, the pull toward you is as strong as went we met, that instant spark of kindred spirits connecting. We shared our stories with each other, but we already knew them, had always known them, as we’ve always known each other. I may never connect with you in this lifetime again, but we will meet again on another shore. We both know it.
Shores of Iona
The last day of the year. I wonder how you will be celebrating Hogmanay? With family, friends, someone special? The new year is a blank slate. How will we write on it? I’m thinking of the last time I saw you. 1996. Isle of Mull Hotel lobby. We had made plans to spend the day on Iona on my day off. I was working reception and thought you had just stopped by to confirm that we had seats on the coach to take us across Mull to the Iona ferry. But your face was red and you were agitated, nearly to the point of hyperventilation. You cancelled our plans, said you couldn’t make it and practically ran out of the hotel. I’ve never seen anyone quite that frightened unless they were in mortal danger. You left me standing, lost, wondering. Two days later, Mary delivered your letter to me, just when I thought things couldn’t be worse. I was wrong.
Nunnery Ruins, Isle of Iona
January 15, 2010
Still writing. Still wondering why you were so afraid of me. You said in your letter that Mary delivered that I had misunderstood your feelings for me. No I didn’t. You said we were friends, nothing more. Not true. You said I expected too much from you. I expected exactly what was right between us. And you knew it when you wrote that letter. I replied. Fast and mostly furious. How dare you? Who hurt you so badly that our connection scared you away from me? You judged me by her. Not fair. I should have known when you came to see me in my room in the staff block my second summer on Mull that you were scared when you brought your wee nephew along.
January 23, 2010
My Dear Robert,
I had Mary deliver my reply to your letter. Nothing for a week. Then she delivered a present from you, Buddhist meditation bells on red rope. They hung in my window back in the states for years. I finally packed them away. Never quite sure if they had been meant as a peace offering or a statement that I needed to meditate on letting you go. I heard you left Mull shortly after sending me the gift. I never saw you again. But I showed you. I married someone I loved but was not in love with.
Isle of Mull Ferry. Taking me home.