Deepened by those of my dear friend, "sister," with whom I shared life at one of the most painful yet regenerative periods in my life.
Jewell Ford was a much-loved member of my church, the Mt. Diablo Unitarian-Universalist Church of the Diablo Valley. We were both early members, long before we became the established church of today; at a time when we were just a group of young families meeting on Sundays in borrowed spaces -- on a common search for meaning at a time when the nation was in a stage of upheaval (the mid-Fifties and late Sixties), desperately needing to find at least temporary answers to pass along to our children until they could fashion their own ... .
We were on opposite sides of the racial barrier yet -- even then -- finding one another in a friendship that has sustained us throughout the rest of our lives.
After a long and productive life with Don, her late husband, Jewell died just a few months ago, and we're still between her death and the Celebration of Life that memorials have evolved into, and properly so. That is scheduled for August, and I'll move mountains to get there if need be.
Son, Bob, was in Santa Rosa appearing in a concert with his partner, Judi, over the weekend and came home moments ago -- pressing into my hand age-yellowed papers -- news clippings culled from Jewell's collection ("Mamma kept everything") and among them was this one. Her daughter Marcia sent them along with other relevant clippings that immediately nudged me gently back into those tumultuous shared years ... .
I remember the dress, and the pearls, but the event where I was singing has faded from memory ... but the memory of the love and warmth of Jewell will remain with me until time runs out, and there's only the hereafter -- wherever and whatever that may be.
And no, we never did find those answers, but I'm certain that we "don't know" at a far higher level than before.
So young ... .