Somewhere in Time II


Began writing the post for this occasion last night...at 11:00 p.m.

However, as I feverishly typed it, doubt began creeping into my mind. Finally, I succumbed to my curiosity and sneaked a peek at posts from the past few days. Oops...my "circle" was in error.

After pouring considerable time and emotion into something, you hate to just pitch it. Therefore, I tacked on a "disclaimer" before posting it around 12:30 a.m. Then, 15 minutes later, I went back and just "laid it on the line" about my error. I mean, when I go on Oprah to discuss "The Book"...I don't want to later be exposed as a fraud!

Went to bed...

Four hours later, I awoke, cranked up the computer, and officially "trashed it". If you wish to rummage around in my wastebasket, feel free to do so. You would be disappointed...as was I.


Folks, have I not told you to be patient...to trust in God's timing? Folks, have I not told you that "signs happen"...that you should NOT try to force them?

I sure do wish that I would take my advice...the old cliché, "practice what you preach".


After posting a "sign" each and every day since the anniversary of Julie's passing, I think I got nervous...I felt a need to reach "a grand finale". "Oh, me of little faith." (I know that there is at least one person out there who is smiling at my admitted weakness..."Oh, Doubting Ronas." All I can say, if the shoe fits...)

(I wrote that last paragraph for the one or two of you who did NOT rummage through my trash!)


Anyway...

I got an e-mail from one of my fellow retired colleagues last night...informing me that today was Parent-Teacher conference day at school...that she was going to bake some cookies and go out for a visit (along with another retired teacher). She invited me to join in the festivities.

Since this is the first anniversary of Julie's funeral, I had mixed feelings. I've been out to school several times already this year, but I wasn't sure how festive I might feel today. However, in keeping with my positive and upbeat pledge, I wrote her back and accepted.

And, folks, THAT is how "signs happen".

You don't have to turn your radio on...you don't have to search the Internet for obscure facts. No, you just go with the flow...

So, around 9 a.m this morning, I ventured out to school and mingled with friends. We visited in classrooms. We visited in the hallway. Finally, several of us adjourned to the "Teacher's Lounge". (By the way, if there are any old or not-so-old English teachers out there..."Teacher's Lounge" is correct...at least that's what is STILL on the door at good ol' Cairo Jr/Sr High School, close to 30 years after it opened. We all know that it is supposed to read "Teachers' Lounge", but, heck, it's only an educational institution! Anyway, that "typo" gave ME the opportunity to stake a personal claim. About once a year, a "newbie" would remark on the incorrect plaque, prompting me to say "NO! THAT sign is correct...this is MY lounge...and don't you EVER forget it!" Depending how early in the year this conversation took place, they either got the joke...or simply wondered "Who is this crazy old man?")


Okay, as usual...I digressed!


The "sign"!

Okay, I'm going to relate what happened...

Since both of the people involved in this conversation are friends who have visited julieanewell.com, they have more than a passing familiarity with my ruminations. So, I will have to defer to them as to what of the following conversation was conscious and what was unconscious as it relates to "the sign". (Hey, my friends aren't puppies anymore. I'm older than both, but we ALL have our "senior moments".) In other words, was the following conversation prompted by what they read of my previous posts or was it totally spontaneous. (I have reread the post and there is no specific mention of the location or hotel. However, they have their own "knowledge base".)

Anyway...

While I'm sitting at the table simply listening to the conversation, one of my friends mentions that another friend of ours, who had fallen and broken a hip, was still planning on joining their annual summer vacation trip. That comment sparked a conversation about places to visit.

And THAT is what led one of my friends to say that she had always wanted to go to a place in northern Michigan. My other friend knew whereof she spoke, identifying the area as Mackinac Island. THAT prompted the mention of the Grand Hotel.

Now, that probably doesn't mean a thing to you. Again, I will have to defer to my friends, but it may not have meant anything to them either...again, totally spontaneous.

However, it meant everything to me!

Oh, I didn't let on...I tend to keep my personal feelings...personal. At least until I get to the nearest keyboard with an Internet connection. Then, I spill it all.

What's to spill?

In earlier e-mails and posts, I indicated that one of my pity-party DVDs (on rebound) was "Somewhere in Time". Well, Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel is where the film was made! (See the 3rd column, 1st paragraph below.)

How's that for a coincidence!

What are the odds that THAT conversation would come up at Cairo Jr/Sr High School...one year to the day and hour that Julie's funeral service took place?

Personally, I would say that it was MORE than a "coincidence".

THAT "return" to Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel today completed a "circle" that began for me on October 19th...the "circle" that I tried to "force" at 11:00 p.m. last night!


Actually, I will add one other thing...

At that moment, I probably came as close as I ever will to the "acceptance thing". For one brief moment, I did experience a "peaceful easy feeling"...that I was NOT alone.


Speaking of Eagles...


Those of you who rummage through other folks' trash already know this, but it bears repeating. My friend Ruth and I had a "bet" of sorts. If a particular song by a particular artist played on the radio as I turned into the cemetery today...it would prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Julie's spirit was "alive and well".

Therefore, when I left school, I did not tarry! It was off to the cemetery...

Turned the radio on...EARLY...on the way out of Cairo. My hopes soared as I approached the I-57 exit for Mounds because, what should start playing on the radio but an Eagles' song...from that oft-quoted new double album of theirs...you know, the one that "speaks to me".

No...none of my "special" songs. The selection was "Too Busy Being Fabulous". But, hey...we ARE getting warm!

As I flipped on the blinker for the cemetery, I held my breath. (No, not literally...let's not get silly about this! That remark was made to "heighten emotion"...to build drama!)

So...what was the song? Did I win the bet?

If the rules require that it be "Someone to Watch Over Me" by Willie Nelson...then, no.

However, I'm appealing the decision!

I will place the matter into your hands, Dear Reader.

If you have been keeping up with the posts over the past year and 5 days...(kinda like in our birthdays, Julie!)

If you have been keeping up, read the lyrics of the song that began to play today as I turned into the cemetery to visit the site where Julie was laid to rest exactly one year ago today...


Billy Joel Lyrics
"The River of Dreams"

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To a river so deep
I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it's too hard to cross

And even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
And try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I've been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep
And I've been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I would never lose
Something somebody stole

I don't know why I go walking at night
But now I'm tired and I don't want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is that I've been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To a river so deep
I know I'm searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night

I'm not sure about a life after this
God knows I've never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That runs to the promised land
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night


I rest my case...


POSTSCRIPT: After paying my respects with a fresh bouquet of flowers, I started the car to head home. Since Julie has been doing such an excellent job compiling the soundtrack of our life together, I let her pick the music...

Her first choice was typical Julie. Not one to dwell on the negative, she decided to change the mood with the first song. However, knowing my continuing need for solace, Julie returned "on message" with the final three selections - Michael Bublé (whom she "introduced" to me during his "consulting" stint with contestants on "American Idol"), Elton's companion song to "Circle of Life", and a selection by Phil Collins.

First, get up off your butt and follow Julie's advice...DANCE!


Kool & The Gang Lyrics
"Celebration"

Celebrate good times, come on
(Let's celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on
(Let's celebrate)

There's a party goin' on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times
And your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you

Come on now

(Celebration)
Let's all celebrate and have a good time
(Celebration)
We gonna celebrate and have a good time

It's time to come together
It's up to you
What's your pleasure

Everyone around the world
Come on

(Yahoo) It's a celebration
(Yahoo)

Celebrate good times, come on
It's a celebration
Celebrate good times, come on
Let's celebrate

We're gonna have a good time tonight
Let's celebrate, it's all right
We're gonna have a good time tonight
Let's celebrate, it's all right

Baby

We're gonna have a good time tonight
(Ce-le-bra-tion)
Let's celebrate, it's all right
We're gonna have a good time tonight
(Ce-le-bra-tion)
Let's celebrate, it's all right

(Yahoo)
(Yahoo)

Celebrate good times, come on
(Let's celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on
It's a celebration
Celebrate good times, come on
(Let's celebrate)

God...I CAN remember Julie dragging me out on the dance floor for that song! It wasn't pretty...I mean, I am a white boy with rhythmic challenges. But...

Okay, Julie, that was fun, but let's sit the next one out...and reflect.


EDITOR'S NOTE: See how easy it is for the desperate, conniving author to take a song that doesn't appear to "fit" and work it in as a key element of "the sign".

By the way, those "gotcha" interviews of Sarah Palin...

They have served a vital purpose...have put this budding celebrity on his toes. I figure there will be cynics in the audience when I do my Oprah gig and so I've got to anticipate their negative reaction...and probing questions concerning alleged "reaches" or inconsistencies in my story. So, I'm already working on my response.

What is that response, you may ask?

Yes, you MAY ask, but I'm NOT telling, upon the advice of my agent. SORRY...you're gonna have to wait and WATCH the show. Don't want to say anything that might negatively impact the ratings...it's all about the hype! By the time the show airs, I may be competing with "Joe the Plumber" trying to peddle HIS book. It's a cutthroat business!


Michael Bublé Lyrics
"Lost"

Can't believe it's over
I watched the whole thing fall
And I never saw the writing that was on the wall
If I'd only knew
The days were slipping past
That the good things never last
That you were crying

Summer turned to winter
And the snow it turned to rain
Then the rain turned into tears upon your face
I hardly recognize the girl you are today
And God I hope it's not too late
It's not too late
'Cause you are not alone
I'm always there with you
And we'll get lost together
'Till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When your world's crashing down
And you can't bear the thought
I said, babe, you're not lost

Life can show no mercy
It can tear your soul apart
It can make you feel like you've gone crazy
But you're not
Things have seemed to change
There's one thing that's still the same
In my heart you have remained
And we can fly fly fly away

'Cause you are not alone
And I am there with you
And we'll get lost together
'Till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When the world's crashing down
And you can not bear to crawl
I said, baby, you're not lost
I said, baby, you're not lost
I said, baby, you're not lost


Avid readers might note a "return of the favor" in the above song...the previous message to BOTH Rachel and I..."you are not alone".


"Can You Feel The Love Tonight"
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Tim Rice

There's a calm surrender to the rush of day
When the heat of the rolling world can be turned away
An enchanted moment, and it sees me through
It's enough for this restless warrior just to be with you

And can you feel the love tonight
It is where we are
It's enough for this wide-eyed wanderer
That we got this far
And can you feel the love tonight
How it's laid to rest
It's enough to make kings and vagabonds
Believe the very best

There's a time for everyone if they only learn
That the twisting kaleidoscope moves us all in turn
There's a rhyme and reason to the wild outdoors
When the heart of this star-crossed voyager beats in time with yours


Again...anything Elton!


Phil Collins Lyrics
"Against All Odds"

How can I just let you walk away, just let you leave without a trace
When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh
You're the only one who really knew me at all

How can you just walk away from me,
when all I can do is watch you leave
Cos we've shared the laughter and the pain and even shared the tears
You're the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now, oh there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me,
just the memory of your face
Ooh take a look at me now, well there's just an empty space
And you coming back to me is against all odds and that's what I've got to face

I wish I could just make you turn around,
turn around and see me cry
There's so much I need to say to you,
so many reasons why
You're the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now, well there's just an empty space
And there's nothing left here to remind me, just the memory of your face
Now take a look at me now, cos there's just an empty space

But to wait for you, is all I can do and that's what I've got to face
Take a good look at me now, cos I'll still be standing here
And you coming back to me is against all odds
It's the chance I've gotta take

Take a look at me now


Due to my pledge to be positive and upbeat, I'll leave that last song alone!


A FINAL FOOTNOTE: As I noted in my "trashed" posting, this is the 100th entry in julieanewell.com. I'm anticipating that this may be it for a while...the "perfect storm" of emotion surely ending. Plus, I've GOT to get away from this computer...got some serious "honey do" jobs to tackle!

Of course, if Julie speaks...I will be happy to translate!

However, I do have one more song in me...one that played out on the radio when I went to Cape Girardeau to pick up some fresh flowers for the grave site. It was a special song to Julie and I for two reasons:

So, in conclusion...


Whitney Houston Lyrics
"I Will Always Love You"

If I
should stay
I would only be in your way
So I'll go
But I know
I'll think of you every step of
the way

And I...
Will always
Love you, oohh
Will always
Love you
You
My darling you
Mmm-mm

Bittersweet
Memories
That is all I'm taking with me
So good-bye
Please don't cry
We both know I'm not what you
You need

And I...
Will always love you
I...
Will always love you
You, ooh

[Instrumental / Sax solo]

I hope
life treats you kind
And I hope
you have all you've dreamed of
And I wish you joy
and happiness
But above all this
I wish you love

And I...
Will always love you
I...
Will always love you

I, I will always love
You...
You
Darling I love you
I'll always
I'll always
Love
You..
Oooh
Ooohhh


Upon further review of the lyrics, Julie asked me to remind you of one BIG DIFFERENCE...against all odds, we did NOT go our separate ways as did the characters played by Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in "The Bodyguard".

No!

Ron and Julie lived happily ever after...