Monday, August 26, 2013

On Life and Love and Friendship

The screen on my little netbook dims in energy saver mode, a tactful reminder that I've been staring at the blank page too long, staring as if waiting for the proper words to magically appear.

But they don't.  They won't, for some emotions have no proper words, and there is nothing magical about death.

I had never met her, never spoken with her, never known her as anything other than "Mrs. Bluelights."  I knew little of her day to day life, and practically nothing of her dreams, her favorite colors and numbers, TV shows, books.  I didn't know what pair of shoes she reached for when her feet faced a long day, or what food she craved late at night; if she left the dishes for the next morning, or commandeered the remote during commercials; her pet peeves and greatest fears; regrets. I had no idea what could flare her red headed temper and what it would take to extinguish the flames.

And yet...I knew all I needed to know, for within her husband's keystrokes, she unwittingly revealed herself: she was part of Eddie, and he was part of her.  She was there, and we knew it, perhaps by nothing more than "we," because her absence would have been noted otherwise.  For when one is comprised of two, the lack of either part is most conspicuous and will likely have a lasting effect.

But with her death, the two that had become one is one again, or perhaps only half of that, for one does not easily remember how to be one, when one has been part of a greater one for over forty years.

I won't speak more of Maria, for her story is Eddie's to tell.  If you haven't already done so, I urge you to read Eddie's tribute.  But I suspect most of you have already been there; I saw the names of many mutual friends among the comments, most written in May, when Eddie had mourned for a month and was able to speak of his wife.  And that's what brings me to the crux of my own post.

I regret to say that although Eddie's life was forever altered months ago, I have only just been made aware of it.  Eddie is a dear friend, albeit only in BlogLand, but I didn't know.  And that is my own fault.

My goodness, I look back over my post list and see I've not written anything in well over a year.  Could it really have been that long?  And in the only time I've popped in at all in recent months, I reverted most of my posts to draft, in that fit of senseless paranoia I experience from time to time.  I didn't check my comments.  I wasn't ready to be tempted to visit friends and laugh or cry with their adventures, or to be mesmerized by their breathtaking photos or entranced by prose.

I didn't check the comments.  I didn't see the message from Eddie about Maria.

When I sat down to write this, I had every intention of saying something to the effect of I'm coming back from my break, not in full force, but I want to stay in touch and will post maybe once a month, maybe more often.  But, as I am trying to finish that promised first novel, I know in my heart that anything I write will end up among its pages, even if those pages are forever compressed into a tiny flash drive, perhaps tossed and  lost, but most likely gathering dust in a seldom used cabinet.  Sometimes I write an amusing short story on my Facebook wall, but that's really all I've done since my self-imposed break.  However, I do want to tell you a bit about what's been going on in my life and I'd like to hear about your own lives.

Leave some comments.  Tell me what's changed, who's married, who's having babies, who's retired, where you're traveling, what you're doing, even if it's nothing.  I'll write one post in the next few days and tell my friends about my misadventures in the world of Ethel and Fred.  After that, the only promise I make is to check in more often.

And in the meantime, keep Eddie in your thoughts or prayers or wherever you hold dear friends.  Very, very dear friends.


  1. smiles...good to see you and i am glad you are getting that novel done....i really just want to hug on eddie...i cont imagine you know....tearing up just thinking about it...

    teaching in high school now...we've been back for 10 days already and the new year is going is well...

    1. Nice to see you, Brian! And good to hear all is well.

  2. Yours has always been among my favorite blogs, and I was excited to see that you had posted something today. I'm so sorry for Eddie. Not much is worse than the death of a beloved spouse. Don't beat yourself up over the not knowing. I'm sure Eddie understands. And maybe God reserved your support for now because He knew this is when Eddie would need it most.

    I'm so eager for your novel, and I forbid you to let it reside forever on a flash drive without my getting a chance to read it. I miss your regular posting, but it will all be worth it when the novel is finished!

    1. Hello Linda! You have hit the proverbial nail on its head, for Eddie has told me the same thing. Thank you.

      I HOPE the novel will be worth it, and I've had some very positive feedback from the few people who have read bits and pieces. I just hope an agent will agree.

  3. I am very touched by your loving and heartfelt post, Ethel and it is wonderful to re-establish contact with such a kind, warm and compassionate friend.
    I was amused to read your reference to the possibility of Maria leaving washing the dishes until the next day!!! Yer've gotta be joking!! No way - she was so houseproud - which reminds me I had better do dome cleaning otherwise some lightning bolts may soon descend upon me!! LOL. I shall still mention her affectionately as Mrs Bluelights on occasions. If she has been looking down on me recently she must have been in fits of laughter when I struggled with getting a duvet blanket into the duvet sheet!! Boy did I have problems - I shall do a post on it - I held the ends and dived into the sheet striving to find two corners and then gradually backed out!! Gawd, what a mess, but I succeeded after several attempts!!

    I do feel she is bossing the angels about because several wonderful things have occurred and she must have quite a bit of clout up there.
    I am so glad you are resuming writing my good friend. Speak soon ~ Eddie x

    1. Eddie, you amaze me. No, maybe not...I'm just looking at things from a different perspective...I just heard your news, where you've had some time to absorb it and begin recovery. still amaze me.

      And I would have LOVED to have been there when you were struggling with the duvet...what a picture you paint!

  4. I am glad to see you posting! I was wondering where you were and how you have been doing.

    And like Linda says, I bet Eddie needs support now more than ever. After my mom died I felt support for the first month or two but then everyone kind of went away or grew tired of my grief. We need support for grief long after it has stopped.

    1. Birdie, hello, my friend!

      Thank you. Yes, I've come to agree with this school of thought. And people don't forget; it's just that life goes on, and we realize we can't grieve forever. Eddie has an infectious sense of humor, and he is recovering. Hugs to you.

  5. I still have you in my blogroll and almost wet myself when I saw that you had posted something. I'm sorry about the circumstances that urged you to write but I'm glad you did. Life indeed does roll on. My sweet little girl will be starting college in 3 weeks and although she won't be far (OK, 30 minutes away) I know it will be horrible for me. This summer we're doing a bucket list together and enjoying our last few moments together. I hope you drop in and check on me once in awhile ;-) Soooo happy to see you ♥

    1. kden, hello! It's like a family reunion!

      What a wonderful way to spend your daughter's last summer as a child! College is a trying experience at best...filled with tears and angst, loneliness, sleepless nights...for MOM. Thank goodness she'll be so close. I thought I would lose my mind when my daughter was one hour away. Good luck!

  6. Beautiful, EthelMae - how I love your writing. Eddie is very blessed to be able to count you among his friends. Your wrote a lovely tribute to Mrs. Bluelights.

    I'm glad to hear that you've been forging ahead with your novel. Your words are among the few out here in blogland that are to be savoured like a fine piece of chocolate. I'm looking forward to the day when it's in my hands.

    And speaking of chocolate and its addicting nature, I need a Wlladean fix!

    Hugs to you, sweet B.

    1. Oh Hilary, how I've missed you!

      Yes, the novel is coming along nicely, very close to finished...first draft finished, of course. And I realize I left poor Willadean out at sea when I lost wrote of her...a friend has emailed me asking if she had been captured by Somalian pirates. All is well, I assure you, and you will be hearing lots more of Willadean in the future.

      I will get over to your place when I have a day or two to savor the loveliness!

  7. That was a really lovely post and my attention was drawn to your blog via Eddie Bluelights, who is my brother. So you see, I'm hurting about Maria too.
    I'm sure I've visited your blog before, at some point. Anyway, I'm really pleased that you are back in circulation after your years break.

    Maggie x

    Nuts in May.

    1. Hello Maggie,

      My condolences go out to you, too. I'm beginning to realize Maria was a very special lady who touched many lives. Thank you for being there for Eddie, and he for you.

  8. Oh bless! I didn't know either :( I treasure some of these people and yet have been the worst at keeping up. Thank you for this post.

  9. Stopping by to see if you are OK!

    If you want a laugh pop over - several ladies think I need a makeover!!! ROFL

  10. Ethelmae, I miss you! I hope you and Fred are enjoying better days than at the time of your last post, over a year ago now. I've taken what may turn out to be a permanent leave from blogging, but you're one writer that I want to keep up with. How's the novel coming along? The offer to be a proofreader still stands. :)

  11. Thinking of you Bron and hope you are ok
    Eddie . . . :) xx


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