The memorial was awkward because there were so many people there that remembered me, knew me and could tell me about times we spent together that I did not remember for an hour or more after being in their presence. It took me five hours to remember one friend, Mike, but I finally got a mental picture of who he was from …. 15 years ago. It was daunting to be remembered and to have to struggle with my memory. I guess it is a little taste of what is to come in my future.
The memorial was amazing because people I knew had grown and changed in ways I had not imagined. One family presented their 18 year old daughter and 14 year old son to me. The daughter had been no older than my nieces. The son, I remember him in diapers. To see them grown up into articulate people was just so cool. Even better, I saw Kyle and first thought "No way." Then I thought, "Holy crap, you're my protagonist. You're Brannon. You're exactly what I imagined for him." It wasn't until he said, "Thank you," that I realized I was babbling my thoughts at him.
The memorial was awesome because there were a couple of people I really wanted to see that I got to spend some time with like Bill, Wendy, Amy, and Johanna. But the surprise blast from the past was the amazing "Dr. Jones." (Who was introduced to some people as, "See, he does exist.") Kevin is one of those dear friends you can be apart from for years and then drop back in together as if no time has passed. We joke that he is our version of Buckaroo Bonzani because he is just as smart, talented and cool as the character. I won't say much more about him except that parts of him show up in my stories from time to time. I'm just so glad to be back in touch with him.
Actually, that is something I realized this past weekend. Most of these people from my past show up in part or whole in my stories without me realizing it most of the time. They affected me and I remember that—even if I don't remember their names, faces or who they actually are. I remember bits and pieces about them.
I enjoy my trips to CA. I see people who are family in my heart – Monte and Rich – and I get to visit favorite stomping grounds where the proprietors always remember me. I appreciate where I've come from but, I have to say, it is darned good to be home, with my husband and my cats. It was a weekend that I will be dreaming about in one form or another for ages to come.