Saturday, March 11, 2017


Growing up in Roosevelt we had this family friend named Ginny. She lived in town much longer than we did and still lives there to this day. After my parents moved away my Mom kept in touch with Ginny and they talk on the phone and visit when my parents are in New Jersey. I have been thinking a lot about Ginny lately. I don't really know much about her history, or her family, but I have always liked her. We tend to have the same political sensibilities and I remember once speaking to her and our mutual friend Jane about the issues of public education, Governor Christie, and teacher frustration. She always exudes confidence. I remember passing her on the streets of our small town - me on my bike, Ginny swiftly walking with perfect posture and sensible shoes. She always greeted me by name with a smile on her face and asked me some pertinent question about my life. Sometimes she would be walking with friends. Sometimes she would be walking with her dog.  Ginny is just a bit older than the last time I have seen her, but something tells me she is still the confident, strong woman I remember her to be.

The other night I dreamt I was flying through Roosevelt. A bird's eye-view. Almost like I was in a Google map. I passed all the landmarks that were important to me. 
My house.
The Katz' house.
The wiffle ball field that was between our homes.
The little hill separating our home from David's.
Lisa's front yard.
The creek.
The closed road.
The road that led up to the cemetery.
Abby's backyard.
The wood's behind my house where the bullfrogs lived.
I passed Jimmy washing his car, George sitting in the driveway beeping his horn for Margaret, and the kids playing on the tire playground.
I watched the people coming out of synagogue from high holiday services, the horses running up toward the tree line of the horse farm, and my Dad putting up our swing set with Michael and Bruce.
I saw Ginny walking down the street with her dogs, and I followed her. She walks fast but I was able to keep up because I was flying. I remember wondering where she was going, and how long she had been walking, and would she ever get tired. I followed her for what seemed like a long time and then...the dream was over. It ended with that falling feeling, and my whole body jerked awake. Maybe I bumped into a tree or something in my dream. I don't remember. 

I like thinking about and dreaming about Roosevelt. It was a pretty nice place to grow up. It wasn't perfect by any means - our little town had more than our share of hardship, tragedy, and sadness. It was really small. It is really small. Two-square miles. (The joke is if you blink you would miss it.) I think that limited us in some ways. But in other ways it forced us to dream bigger. I enjoy talking to past and current Rooseveltians about memories, and who they know and where they lived and who were their neighbors. It makes me feel safe. 

It was suggested to me by someone I respect immensely that it is important for me to remember the past, and have comfort in these memories, but also work on creating new memories, and look to the future. That is hard and sometimes very painful. But I am working on it every day. Making plans, laughing, taking pictures, doing things that are difficult because I still can.

I am glad Ginny was in my dream the other night. It reminded me to straighten my back, put a smile on my face, and keep on going.

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