Today is my late sister Kerrin's birthday. She would have been thirty-eight, so that is much on my mind, as is the concept of passage. How we move from one space to another, one form to another, a world to another; some of us multiple times in a day, others of us in those life and death-defining instances when one form of consciousness is passed back over the desk from which it was first handed, and another is given in its place. I did not know sister at the time of her birth because, like me, she was adopted. That is, I think, it's own kind of bond, paradoxically enough. But either way she is much on my mind.
As is a woman named Jennifer StJohn. I don't go on Facebook very often, and I stopped putting anything up on my page months ago, because there is nothing healthy about Facebook. But today, for whatever impulse, I decided to visit the page of Ms. StJohn. A number of weeks ago, having read something of mine--I believe it was a Wall Street Journal piece--she had reached out to me. She was smart, energetic, kind, and she remarked that she would be reading a lot of my work for a long time. I directed her towards this site, mentioning the blog, for which she signed up. The other day she sent a note complimenting a line in these pages. I believe she wrote herself. Anyway, today I learned that she died. The first item on her FB page was for a memorial service to be held in her honor and memory in mid-January. I was going to write her back this week.
Of course I do not wish to speculate, but she did not sound like someone who was going anywhere for a long while. I believe she graduated college in 1973, which would have put her in her late sixties. And I think again about the notion of passages. Such a warm spirit, with a considerable energy. In a very different, but real, way, my sister was that way. I don't believe such spirits become diminished, nor necessarily altered; I am not sure, either, that they depart our world completely, even as they inhabit the next fully on their journey.
So. Jennifer: Your words meant a lot to me during a difficult time in my own life, and I hope mine meant something to you at the close of one form of yours. I am sorry I put off writing you back until this week. And Kerrin: I love you. Which hopefully you know. I am sorry that I did not do a better job of showing you that.