Recently I experienced two very different instances that reminded me of this.
First facebook switched my five year personal account to a business one wiping out all my friends (turning them into likes) and all of the words I’d typed. Literally with a keystroke someone; most likely not even done by a human; wiped away my personal digital history on the platform.
I have to admit it was perplexing and frustrating. I imagine for some it’d be devastating. Facebook being a communication company makes it impossible to speak with a live human to try and resolve any issue, never mind one as easy to fix as this.
The other event was far more personal. Every once and awhile I look up people that have drifted away from my life. I found the very first girl I’d ever dated when I was 11 on facebook. It’s a great tool.
I recently discovered that the first fiancee I had; back when I was in my 30’s, passed away. She was an incredible and amazing person. She was an Aries and I’m a Leo. It was passionate, explosive, and incredible relationship that burnt out very quickly. She was in Uni when we met and I was living this kinda strange life in the early 90’s as I was running very large sports card shows and events when that industry exploded. I was working with the players too repping some of them all across the region. The man that supplied me my photos was one Denis Brodeur who had this kid, Marty, who did his first ever signings with me and when I mulled doing media he, his dad and bro took me out for lunch, liquored me up, and then we all giggled as I interviewed him. I even toured with the Legend’s hockey team sitting behind Maurice Richard who was the ref at that time. It was an adventure. It was insane. It was lots of cash; lots of mayhem, and an awful lot of fun.
I was stunned reading her obit online. How did we drift apart like we did? Well both being Quebecer’s we joined the exodus of those that left la belle province. I left for California and then Ontario; she for Calgary and then BC.
I found her son who at the time was eight and now a grown man of 30. I found him on facebook, and he remembered me; and I of course remembered him as I would have adopted him had we married. He was a great kid when he was eight. He wasn’t just the child of someone I was with; but he was everything that I would have wanted in a son.
So far it looks like he’s turned into quite the man. I’m very proud of the job that his mother did with him, and he’s done with himself. Nobody is perfect, but he’s still a well spoken, polite, creative and artistic soul with his mother’s eyes. As odd as it may sound I feel a bond with him; even if it’s a sliver of one; even after all these years.
He shared with me some of what had happened; but then I found her facebook page. She had used a version of her first name that I’d missed in searches I’d done over the years. I’d always thought of her as a fragile slip of woman; but with a ton of fire and character. I never thought she’d pass so young, but to be honest I could never see her as an elderly person either. She just had this joyous youthful spark to her.
Reading someone’s page can sometimes almost be an act of hearing them speak; at least for me. I could hear her sing song voice as I read her words and glimpsed into the shards of her life that she shared publicly. Her spark; her attitude came through. She was very very bright and articulate and apparently she loved being online. Her photos, her animals, the bits of her life that she shared.
Her sudden end at the age of 49 brought home how truly fragile life is ; but it more importantly brought for me the reality that we live our own movie each day, but unlike film, the crossover into other’s movies of life are intangible.
I have my memories of our brief time together and have been remembering slivers of them. It made me wonder about some of the other people that have passed through my movie as we all are so busy with life. Lately I’ve reconnected with a few people from my past and it’s like we never drifted away. That to me is the mark of true friendships.
The “what if ” game also comes into play. What if this had happened, or what if I said this or they said that. We truly never know why things happen in this world; what gives us that urge to open a door, or click a button. We connect for reasons and like atoms we bounce away for reasons; many times we’ll never know why nor sometimes do I think there’s even a reason…
If you died tomorrow what would people think about everything google could pull up on you? Would you have a lot of regrets? Would you feel you’ve lived your days fully? Are you happy with what you’ve accomplished?
Of course we don’t get “take backs” which is why it’s so important to learn from our mistakes; but as I sit in front of this screen tapping away on the keyboard as I burn the last few days before I myself turn 50 I can feel splinters of wild thought racing in all directions….
Those that make it to old age have lived lives. People come and go. Many get married or settle down multiple times with families from different matings. It’s more complicated than it used to be.
How do you think you’ll be remembered?
You’ll be missed by many; and always loved.