Today is said to mark the birthday of Alexander the Great, who has figured prominently on this blog, in my writings and in my life. But that’s not what I want to talk about today.
Today also marks the last day of work for the administrator of this site and my social media – the blog goddess, as it were, who prefers to be in the background. We’ll call her A.
In our five-year association on “The Games Men Play,” the blog and book series, she has been the quintessence of professionalism, bringing her passion for writing, editing and marketing, fabulous organizational skills and an estimable loyalty to her role as my right-hand woman.
A entered my life at a time of transition for both of us. I had channeled the loss of my beloved aunt into my first published novel, “Water Music.” And A was looking to recalibrate her work-life balance after the birth of her first child. Thus began a five-year working relationship characterized by four births – her first two children, who would become the “staffers” at our monthly breakfast meetings; my first two books in “TGMP” series, which also includes “The Penalty for Holding,” a recent Lambda Literary Award finalist.
Now she’s expecting a third child as her husband embarks on a new job and the family moves to a new locale and I’m on to a related and yet decidedly distinct book series. It is time for us to part.
When I think of leave-taking, I’m drawn back to the film “Caste Away.” (Note the title is not a noun but a verb. Caste away – caste off, let go.) At first Tom Hanks’ character can’t do that. When he returns from being lost for seven years on a deserted island, he seeks out his fiancée, who has married someone else. She has moved on. “You were the great love of my life,” he tells her. But he also realizes that she was with him on that island in spirit all the time he was lost – yet not alone.
Our relationships are only meant to take us so far. We are but strands in this universe, weaving together and going off in different directions only to reform later, or not. Though A and I will always be friends, our relationship must of necessity change. Now she and her children will live for me not only on Facebook but in the imagination.
I shall always be grateful to her not just for her fine work but for her presence and for offering me a glimpse of what it might’ve been like to have had a daughter and grandchildren. In one of her last work emails to me, she signed it “love and gratitude.” In the end these are all we can offer one another in this world, and it is more than enough.
So, I say now thanks and love to her and the staffers.
Godspeed and fare well.