Slipped Away has been a labor of love and cathartic for my healing over the loss of my soul mate. I have had mixed feelings about being so public with such a tragic and personal part of my life. Others have been vocal in their disapproval of Steve’s memoir, going as far as saying it is a travesty and Steve would not approve.
As I reflect on the negativity cast over Steve’s memoir by others, I reconcile myself to the fact I am the best person to tell his story as we were so close for over thirty three years . Steve’s story is an important one that must be told. If just one person that reads the book has a little more compassion for someone in their life (or even themselves) that may suffer from mental illness and have suicidal thoughts, then I will have accomplished one of my goals with this book.
So, what is the significance of the title (Signs) of this blog?
The Signs (although I didn’t realize it then) began late last year. I received a message from Linda in the end of December 2015. She had entered a ‘giveaway’ contest I had sponsored for Slipped Away on goodreads.com. Although she did not win, she expressed a lot of interest in reading the book. Linda’s brother took his own life in the 1970’s and she loves to read books to her husband, who is a disabled veteran. The first of two Signs right there; suicide of a loved one and a veteran. (Slipped Away proceeds go to a nonprofit veterans organization). For no particular reason, I felt it was important that I send her a copy of the book.
March 15, 2016 marked the one year anniversary of Steve’s passing. I wasn’t sure what I was going to post on my Slipped Away Facebook page, but I wanted to include something that might make people smile. Normally I don’t re-post something I have already posted, but I chose to re-post two of Steve’s car karaoke videos (“In the name of love” by U2 and ironically, “Signs” by Tesla) and his yoga DVD blooper video.
Linda has been following my Slipped Away posts for a while and on March 16, she reached out to me and said she was thinking about Steve the night before and she wanted to tell me she heard “In the name of love” on the radio, a song not played on the air too often. Linda told me the thought that passed through her head about Steve was that he’d have done what he did no matter where he was or who he was with, it was just a matter of time. Linda felt that the timing of the song and the thought that flashed though her mind was no accident and said that Steve, even though he is no longer with us, he is still touching people’s lives.
I looked at the song lyrics which mentions the Memphis sky (Linda lives about 30 miles outside of Memphis) and the words: “Free at last, they took your life” which to me were more Signs. In what I believe was one of his last writings, Steve said “I am free…”
Then Linda said to me something Steve had always firmly believed; “There is no such thing as coincidence Jean…everything happens for a reason. Each person you meet, when you meet them is there for a reason.”
More Signs; My Mom and Linda’s Mom both came from Dorchester, MA; a Boston neighborhood that is only about six square miles. The blog graphic was inspired by a Facebook posting (from Forever in My Heart) my friend had shared on March 16.
My best friend Judy has been telling me for over year now about Signs and Linda has echoed Judy’s words. I am a skeptic by nature and have always rejected the concept of Signs, however, I think I am starting to believe.