She sent me a private message at about midnight.
I didn’t read it until about 2:30 AM when I got myself off the sofa where I had fallen asleep watching a recorded episode of Elementary. Apparently Yvonne had made her way to the bed because she was nowhere in sight as Sherlock and Watson solved yet another case in modern-day New York.
The words in the first sentence of her message immediately grabbed my attention, forcing me to ignore the lack of proper capitalization in the name of my blog. But how can anyone fuss about grammatical issues when faced with these words? –
‘I read juan day at a time all night. you are brilliant.’
Since I was on my way to bed and I was somewhat asleep, it was easy to take it all in and not over think it. This morning, hours later, the clarity of Saturday and the sounds of music coming from my iPad as I ventured through my imaginary Central Park on the treadmill, forced me to reflect on the words as endorphins attacked my perpetual, recent melancholy mood.
The message went on to say that she was proud I was in her life, in the special role I played and that she loved me. Certainly not discounting the importance of her other statements and grateful myself that she exists in my world and in my time, I kept focusing on the first statement.
As any writer of a blog will tell you, it is by far the most narcissistic experience of anyone’s life. All artists make art for the sake of art, but recognition is such a big part of the process. Writers, whether amateur or professional, published or self-promoted, we want the same thing: we all seek that tangible acceptance that says ‘your words have meaning to someone other than you…’
She gave me that as I was stumbling toward my bed in a haze of sleep and a long week that felt more like a crowded month of activity.
As I put my head down on my pillow, I smiled. To receive accolades from a peer is grandiose; to obtain praise from a mentor is so necessary for the perpetuation of one’s talent; however, to receive a compliment with the heartfelt magnitude that came with her words, to receive confirmation from someone who could be my own child, was a spectacular way to open the door to slumber and walk into dream world.
I knew that I had blog post for the morning and I knew that it would be about her message, if not directly about her person.
In having life close the door on my ability to make an impact on my own biological child, all I have ever wanted was to be noticed in the realm of parenthood. It’s an easy ask with a complex denial that eventually finds resignation (if not acceptance). This is what we refer to as the ‘necessary voids’ in our lives which build our character, our wants, our needs and our talents. My messages posted to the ether may be just that: random calls to the unknown population of readers, reaching out to a child who might one day say to me – ‘You have made a difference.’
Last night, she told me that I did.
Last night, the load was lighter because there was less to carry, as drops of affection (from a kid not your own) carry so much less weight than the drops of emptiness contained in the bucket of void.
Last night, I smiled.
Last night, I went to bed simply deelighted.