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October 6th, 2016 at 05:00 pm

Last night I talked for over 2 hours with an old friend from high school who I haven't talked to for 35 years.

On top of that, when last we spoke, we parted on very poor terms, all based on miscommunication from our high school days, believe it or not.

I am so glad we've reconnected. He is now living in Ecuador and likes it very much. He lives in Cuenca, which is actually known as the retirement capital of the world. Over 8,000 Americans in that city alone, so altho he's been there 7 months now, he has yet to learn Spanish, becus, he says, he doesn't need to. Everyone speaks English.

I was the first person he came out of the closet to; we were both just 16. We were very close, and the only thing I worried about was how was his being gay going to affect our relationship. I guess I didn't articulate my feelings well enough, becus, unbeknownst to me, he felt I had rejected him, when that was the very last thing I would have wanted to do.

I only learned this was how he interpreted that day when I saw him years later....i guess i was in my late 20s...when he was visiting my sister and he told me that, for years, he had hated my guts. It totally floored me. I had no idea. I always had fond memories of those high school days, and for him to tell me that was devastating. I tried to talk to him about it, but he was not receptive. Shortly after that, I went off to an out-of-state college and we gradually lost touch with each other.

So all these years, when i thought back to those days, there was this great sadness over what i had learned.

The other day i was going through old photos in my attic i wanted to scan before they disintegrate, and i found a card with his name on it. I brought it downstairs with me becus i noticed it showed his middle initial, without which my search on Facebook would have been much harder. But I did find him on Facebook that night and we agreed to talk. Which by the way was totally free becus he had gotten a Magic Jack phone when he still lived in the Northeast and that's the phone he used to call me. We had a very clear connection.

Everything is good between us now. He said he thinks he took his anger and rage at all the people who had treated him badly for being gay and directed it at me, the person he was closest to, the person, he said, he needed the most. Since that time, he had some serious drug and alcohol issues, but he has been sober for over a decade now. We both apologized for the pain we caused each other. He sounds like he's in a very good place now.

In other news...
Remember the man who bought 5 pieces of my mother's art? Well, the gallery owner called me back a day later and said he needed more for the space he's decorating. So I delivered 4 more small pieces this morning to the gallery, and hope to learn as soon as tomorrow that he's purchased more.

So I took a small check from the gallery owner with the agreement that she would pay the larger balance of a few thousand she owes me in January, when I expect it will be possible my salary could be much lower than it was this year. If that's the case, I could drop into the 15% tax bracket and thus would have a reduced tax bill for the sold art next year.

I don't have an urgent need for the money now since i have the unemployment benefits coming in.

I started with a new bereavement group this afternoon. It's a 10-week commitment which I can do as long as I don't find a new job, since it meets 4 to 5:30 pm every Thursday.

I had gone maybe 3 or 4 times to a different group a while ago that met only monthly, and I didn't think there was enough continuity between meetings to continue.

It's tough to get through as you hear everyone else's sad stories. A man who lost his wife to cancer 2 months ago. Two other women who lost their mothers, one of them also to Alzheimers, one whose mother lived to be 104. Other women who lost their spouses after 30, 40 or 50 years of marriage.

I don't know if I'll be able to stick it out, but I'm going to try. After 10 months, I feel better than I did after 4 months, certainly, but I still do not feel free of my sorrow. I am working hard to move on with my life but I often feel like this great sadness is always with me, just under the surface.

3 Responses to “Reconnecting...”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    It's so very lovely that after all these years you made up with your old high school friend, a very heartwarming story that this misunderstanding has now been fixed and smoothed over Smile.

  2. Carol Says:

    I hope the new group works for you. It is surprising how helpful they can be. Good for you trying to take good care of yourself.

  3. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I'm glad you were able to reconnect and reconcile with an old friend. It's so amazing how a miscommunication can so greatly derail relationships.

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