Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ODE TO MY "JUNE" BUG

I was sitting outside in the warm sun and felt the soft gust of the cool breeze surround me as I watched the last of the broken clouds drift off for places unknown. I have always wondered where the clouds go when they bust apart and but it seems they regroup again at another time and place. Much like people, family and friends who regroup at some time to form a "love cloud" of memories and which breaks apart and the energy of that affection will meet up once again when the timing is right.

My dog sauntered out to remind me that it was time for a dog treat and as she followed me into the office I suddenly got a message from my computer telling me that a new message had arrived in my box. I sat down to retrieve it and my whole body smiled with joy that a special family member had discovered me on FACEBOOK and gave me accolades for my writing.

I could hardly contain myself to reconnect those clouds again and drift back to our family memories and dish on the "now of then". As in every family there is always one person who stands out above the rest. The one who accepted all of you and nothing less. The person who was rebellious above the rest and took to life and self discovery as if the army were chasing them to the finish line. I had my connection with her and still feel as if it was yesterday that I first had my cousin connection.
It truly does not matter that so much time has come and gone because it still feels as if it happened last week. Through tears of unspoken gratitude those memories are some of the most cherished moments on my hit parade of life.

I can recall the exact moment that she made the biggest impression on my life which would become the catalyst for a lifetime of amazing discoveries. Still a teen herself, she got saddled with the duty of taking care of me as a young boy of seven which suited me fine as it was a getaway from the other sitters that were old biddies who wanted to strap me to a chair and torture me because of my inability and unwanted desire to do what they wanted me to do.
No...., my June bug was different. She also busted the mold of authority and sought to find life on her own terms. To this day I believe the karmic connection brought us together from another life where we lived our previous life with wild abandon and it just carried over to the next to complete what we didn't get finished before.

Despite what you would believe we were connected and the rest just fell into place. I always loved when she would visit us at home and became infatuated when she talked about her life and how her Mother just could not understand her. It was a song that played a lot in my home also as my Mother had the same problem. Both of our Mothers would not accept that we wanted to go our own way without the benefit of their opinions or guidance. Their dilemma was how to control us and our dilemma was how to get the hell away from them as quickly as possible.

Cousins of related Mothers, but all it was all in the family genes I guess. We captured the adventurous genes while the other family members remained staid. We never let time go by easily because we milked every second of consciousness looking for a new adventure. Now bear in mind there was a time that there was an age gap that separated us in maturity but that gap has long disappeared and now our connection is all on an even keel as the age gap faded long ago with our life experiences.

It was on that Saturday long ago that I sat in her apartment watching American Bandstand and was perusing through her box of records that I discovered that Decca record that would forever cement the bond. Not that it would mean much to anyone else, but to me it signaled happiness and an excitement that she liked the same singer that I did. The proof was being held in my hand and she took her teenage time to school me on the others singers who were filed within that "Platter Pack" of 45 RPM records. It was 1959 and my world of music had began to spin just for me.

My world would never be the same after that wonderful Saturday afternoon. She introduced me to Dick Clark and rate a record. She carefully explained to me who he was and who all the "in" dance couples were. I sat totally enamored with the black and white spectacle that seemed to never end. I can remember when the show finished asking her if I could come back next week and watch it with her again. Just what she needed another visit from her cousin when there were dates to be had on a weekend.

Unfortunately for me we did not get to repeat that weekend visit but as I got out of her car that day when we returned home, I could see a whole new vista beginning to glow around me. It still resonates within me when I ponder the memory of that special day.

She would always appear in our lives and still made time to spend with us even though she was making new roads in her life. I recall a visit when I became aware that she was pregnant with her first child. I did not know why her stomach had gotten so big and with her funny wit she explained the truth of what was happening and why she had a large stomach. She was quite savvy and left the birds and bees out of it but she was the first woman that let me feel her baby kick. My Mother was taken aback at how mesmerized I was at what was transpiring before me. Once again unknown to her she had opened a new window for me to peer out of.

The rebel in me became the mantra that we both so securely lived by. At times others would judge her because of her "unsavory choices", but I secretly loved that she wrote her own music and sang her own songs. Year after year I witnessed the changes that she went through and sought to become someone like her. I also desired the free will and would never listen to the guidance of others if my own inner sonar had a different path to follow.

It did not matter how much time had passed, but when we would reconnect it was like no time had gone by. It seems that as we spoke our memory of events was as sharp as the day that things happened. While we may have held the title of "rebels" we clearly made our path known and lived life as we dictated it on our own terms.
I recalled many events where I clearly now would have made a different decision but we both agreed that we had absolutely no regrets and we are still living to tell all.

In these autumn times of our lives we seem to reflect on things and people who clearly defined areas of our lives. Often times people never have the opportunity to tell the person how much they appreciated them in their life. I am the fortunate exception who recognizes one of the people who defined me as the person I am. She was totally unaware of the wonderful impact that she made in my life.

Often I get the pleasure of taking out the Decca album that she gave me as a get well gift when I had broken my wrist. I hold it in my hands and remember that young woman who had worked hard for that money to buy the album that would make me feel better despite the pain and awkwardness of my arm in a cast.
I can still feel and taste the chill of the "Seven Up" in that big green bottle that she brought for me also and watched her sip on the Pepsi that she drank while I opened up my gift. My joy on that occasion was obvious to everyone present in the room that evening. Little did they know where it all would lead.

I get to say my thanks now and share the love that I will keep with me for the rest of my life and she will finally know for sure that she had made quite an impression on a seven year old boy who always would whisper silent SWEET NOTHIN'S whenever she was around. Cousin's by birth and soul mates from yore.

It doesn't have to require any special month to bring out my JUNE bug,............no she flies around in my memory all the time and always lands on that special place in my heart.

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