In the warmth of the sun I sit on a wooden bench in the city park over looking the lake; my fingers tightly clutching the green ribbon attached to the metallic green balloon hovering a few feet above my head. In addition to the helium in this balloon, I filled it with my regrets, my dreams that will never be, and my unrequited adoration for Harvey.
When I was in the fourth grade, my family moved to another city. With a new city, comes a new school. For me, we may have moved to another country; I was so out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I ever got into a comfortable zone until after high school.
I bought into the story that I am both shy and introverted. Myers Briggs, to this day, validates this story for me. I am not terminally shy. In fact, many people who have met me but do not really know me would probably guffaw at my assertion that I am innately shy.
I make a conscious effort daily to rebut this story. Sometimes, I am successful if I am feeling particularly courageous (or arrogant) after a glass or two of vino or vodka, I will go up to a stranger and thrust my hand out and say, “HI! I’M LENAE!”
Inevitably, the prey looks, for a brief moment, like a deer in headlights before politely accepting my hand and responding in kind and a light-hearted conversation ensues and my guard slowly relaxes. But, for the most part, when I walk into a party I frenetically scan the room for a friendly familiar face, and if I am S.O.L. I make a beeline for the bar.
Needless to say, I do not make friends easily. So, when I do make a friend, well, that friend becomes like a precious gemstone forever tucked into the pocket of my heart. I do not let go of my precious gems easily…even when it is in my highest and best interest to do so.
Enter Harvey. Harvey was the friend of a friend who garnered my interest immediately after meeting some odd two decades +/- ago. Harvey is beautiful, compassionate, non-judgmental, and the purest shade of authentic…did I say beautiful? Harvey is soul-level Jesus freaking beautiful, and he to this day does not know it.
Suffice it to say, our relationship blew through time and space like a meteor burning through the Earth’s atmosphere, strong, fiery, and short. Unbeknownst to him at the time, Harvey became one of the rare precious gems that I carry around in the pocket of my heart.
In 2009, FaceBook opened the door for Harvey and I to reconnect. Almost as if no time had passed, Harvey became my distant confidant, my grounding rod, my constant, and my reality check. I am so thankful and grateful for his presence during the transitions I experienced at that time in my life.
I became somewhat dependent on Harvey. My day just felt brighter when Harvey spoke…a word, a text, and/or sent a song lyric. But, the reconnect, as it turned out, was untenable; different paths, ever evolving. It is what it is and that’s okay. Except, for me, it was not really okay. Harvey might as well have left the planet for the pain of the loss I felt.
So, at the guidance of my other gem, my gal pal Nicole, I am here on this park bench holding a balloon in the middle of the workweek with the intention of letting go of all of the pain I’ve attached to Harvey, so that I can move on too.
The ribbon moves slowly through my fingers and I slowly loosen my grip. I let go. I watch the shiny jade balloon rise to the height of the brilliant and blinding yellow sun, duck behind a marshmallow white cloud and disappear, taking with it, my pain. I am left with only the gratitude for the moments shared, for the richness Harvey brought into my life, twice...forever a precious gem in the pocket of my heart.