the bittersweet memories…

“There was a time when you would have had me,
There was a time I could have had you,
But it’s too late, another path has come and gone again
I’m at the back door with a broken window view thinkin’

And it’s a shame
That we ain’t lovers
We could’ve been something, so big and grand…”

Hayes Carll

At the urging or my daughter, I attended a Hayes Carll concert this week. I’m sad that I’m just now becoming familiar with his music. It was an outstanding show. But what really hit me was the story of a woman and her friend I met at the show. They had driven a couple of hours to see the show. I’ll call them Rose and Lily just because those are lovely flowers and they were lovely people.

Rose told me that Lily knew Hayes. I asked Lily how she knew him and she averted her eyes and just said ” we are old friends.” I could tell it was more than that.

She knew the words to every song and she asked me to dance with her to a slow song. I know I let her down with my klutzy attempt but she was lost in thought of another time and I’m sure she forgives me for that.

I asked her if he broke her heart and she said ” we broke each other’s hearts.” At that moment, every friend’s story and my own memories of every every past relationship flooded my heart. Her pain was so real to me. She finally had enough liquid courage to make her way towards the stage because she just needed to look at him.

It reminded me of all those feelings of love lost and the feelings of regret–not so much in the ending of a relationship but more for not appreciating the experience for all the things it was. And how all those things shape you into the person you are. There are, of course, some toxic relationships in my past that should never have happened but I have taken something from each one. Some are sweet memories and some are more bitter than sweet. But they are a part of my journey. And a journey is never all smooth sailing.

I think Lily made peace with her journey. Sometimes those memories sneak up and can squeeze your heart and take your breath away. The key is to take a deep breath and continue traveling.

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