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  • It is strange how people we have never met become a part of your story . I met one wonderful lady through a writing site, many years ago. She used to read my poems, comment on them, comment on my paintings.. and then we both became very good friends, writing frequent, long mails about our lives, families, spiritual beliefs to each other. She was much older than me--- and I had not even seen a photograph of her, ever.
    All I knew was, I loved Debbie. She was warm, loving, funny . Her affection towards me was reciprocated in equal measure.

    Debbie was a woman of the sea. She used to be out on the high seas for months. She lived and worked in Maine. Her stories about the blue seas, the crabs, the storms... and the calm blue waters, the breeze, the full moon reflecting on the sea.. used to reach me every few days.

    Then she told me, after a year-- that she was suffering from an illness.. which would take her away from her family , soon ! She had not told her family but she was writing journals for all of them, separately . One for her husband, one for her son and one for her daughter.

    How hard it must have been for her to keep it to herself..... only because she wanted the lives of her loved ones to be free of pain . Because she wanted to do all she could, while she could.

    I received a parcel from her one day .
    A pretty , hand bound journal. A hand made bag ( which she and her husband had stitched, specially for me ) a few sand dollars.. a book on the People of Maine... and a beautifiul little card. Her long, loopy handwriting held her fragrance.. it was just as I would have imagined her writing to be !

    That day I cried my eyes out. I don't know why . Maybe because the love she sent, with all those gifts, at a time when we both knew she was going.... was far too valuable, far too precious, far too beautiful than any other friendship I had had till then ! I still have all her gifts. All tucked safely into nooks of my cupboard.. and each time my hand touches the fabric of that bag.. or these sand dollars.. or the little diary .. I feel her presence around me. A gentle, warm soul, full of blessings..

    Its been more than 3 years since I heard from her. She just went silent... my mails, a postal letter.. all went unanswered. . I had to tell myself-- she's passed on ! It was tough . I didn't want to believe it. I didn't want her to go , for that cheerful, smiling person to disappear from my life !

    But then, that's life. I logged in at that old site a few days back, after a long long time. And went to her page. It was still there. Her photographs of the sea, flowers, blossoms, clouds... were still there.
    I sent up a small prayer.. I sent up a heartfelt ' Dear Debbie.... ....' and I believe she heard me.

    She always used to say , ' Look at the full moon ... and that will be me, looking down at you.'
    And I do that, and unfailingly , she comes to mind.....

    Image- blue pools, an acrylic on canvas painting by me
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