Friday, November 9, 2007

Celine lives on.

Ok, finally I have a chunk of time to reflect on the synchronicity of the conversation Yessie and I had during last Wednesday’s massage. For the last couple of months I have a scheduled noon, hour and a half long, massage with Yessie. We chat for a bit initially, and then I lip up and selfishly receive for the rest of the massage.

I was still on my stomach when the topic of self doubt came up. I shared how I identified the self doubt I’d had before my talk last Saturday night. When Yessie heard I talked somewhere she asked, “Are you a motivational speaker?” I told her no, I just share my experience, strength and hope in this 12 step program I belong to. Yessie followed up with, “I knew a woman who used to speak a lot in the same program. She, like you, had had a personality change. She had changed from whom she used to be to whom she had become. But one or two of her family could never see her for the incredibly wonderful woman she had become – they couldn't forget and only remembered her as she had been a very long time ago."

I found myself wondering if I knew this woman that used to speak that Yessie was referring to. I imagined she was referring to someone who lived locally here in the desert. I asked Yessie, “What is the woman’s name?” Yessie said, “Celine Th....on. But she is deceased.” I lifted my head up from the table, looked Yessie straight in the eye and excitedly said, “Celine Th....on?” Are you sure that was her last name? Are you sure her last name wasn’t Ja..s? “Well, that sounds familiar,” said Yessie.

My next set of questions came faster and louder, “Where did she live?” Yessie replied, “Oregon.” I said, “Bend, Oregon?” Yessie, even more excitedly said, “Yes, Bend, Oregon!” I said, “Oh my god. That’s my Celine, I used to sponsor her. She was my very good friend. I was up there with her when she was dying. I drove her to Oregon when she moved to Bend 7 years ago after her first husband, John, died. I went on and on. As further confirmation, I mentioned that she lived with her boyfriend Cliff. Yessie said, "Yes, yes. Cliff."

I asked Yessie how she knew Celine. Yessie said that her husband’s mother is Celine’s sister. My heart is pounding. The questions and sharing kept on. I knew for sure it was my Celine when everything Yessie had to say about Celine described the only way I’ve ever known her: polite, principled, caring and someone who spoke with heartfelt love and respect for the 12 step program she had belonged to just short of 20 years. Celine would have been 20 January 30th, 2008.

The feeling I had with the discovery that Yessie and I were talking about the same, one and only, Celine J. has made me realize that Celine may be physically gone, but she will always live on. I haven’t really lost Celine.

What makes this experience just so much sweeter is that weeks before I found out Yessie’s husband was a photographer. I had asked Yessie to ask him if her husband would be willing to go on shoots and work with me. Last Wednesday, before starting massaging me, Yessie told me that her husband, Chris would be happy to take me out to the Living Desert and work with me.

I am thrilled. I’m going to be close to Celine again. I can’t wait to spend time with her nephew, Chris the photographer!

5 comments:

tina said...

It is a small world. And that is a beautiful picture of Celine!

LR said...

what on incredibly sweet/sad/melancholy moment to hear of someone speak of a lost friend. The extra lesson was to learn of the connection through a "selfish" silence. Gifts....a new definition!

gottago said...

Last night Cliff (Celine's mate) called me back. After I shared how I found out my massage therapist and Celine had a connection, he mentioned what a coincidence the timing of my call was - he and a select few are having a ceremony dedicating Celine's memorial stone in his backyard in Bend, Or. today at 2:00pm.

Cindy said...

Wow!

Joanna said...

What a great story. Thank you, it served as a reminder to me of the spiritual world we live in.