Tonight, I met a woman. Brought together by a task at hand and separated by a lifetime of experiences, we found our connection surprisingly fast. The diversion was the writing of note cards and the licking of envelopes. The connection was candor, honesty and her smile-- a wonderful slight space and the ability to share it, completely. We were sharing our personal address books in inviting our friends to a local jazz event. With that sentiment, she told me that she had lost her husband, and with him had lost many of her own invitations. "I passed a store window the other day, she said, and I saw this beautiful gown. It made my heart flutter and then, it made it fall," Of the many things she missed in the missing of her husband, "It may sound frivolous, she continued, but I loved dressing up! Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of dressing up and feeling like a princess. When I married, we went to so many beautiful events and when I walked into a room with him, I felt like a queen." Her endearing smile found a natural fade in the progression from memory to reality. I leaned into her across the table and said, "Promise me you'll go back and buy that gown. Promise me you'll find a place to wear it. Do it once a year-- for you. PROMISE." Her eyes widened. Her smile broadened. She liked the idea and she promised. She showed me that she wore his wedding ring-- re-sized. I thought about how she wore her love for him-- over-sized. We went back to the invites. These lists. Some make the annual update. Some do not. They scan their cursors across the name and hit delete, never fully understanding the impact they are having on a life.
Having been on many email lists, myself, I understand the feeling of being out of season. The paths that we cross are sometimes fast and fleeting. Still, that does not change the way I walk down them. Still, I open my heart. I don't care if it is for the day or decade. The people in our lives matter. We take pieces of each, wherever we go. And tonight, I will fall asleep with the vision of a beautiful new friend in a stunning red dress, blurred in the spin of her dance.