by Bonnie Lass
Memories of a lost love
One evening in 2015, I walked into my bedroom and was startled. I could hear Rocky Mountain High playing; not in my head but as if the sound was coming from a record player. Impossible, as there is no such equipment in that room. I tried to shake it off, but it happened over and over, always unexpectedly. There was no rhyme or reason. I felt Harry near somehow and it was comforting. For the days and weeks that followed, I could not get away from what I believe was Harry’s spirit. If I walked in a store the song would be playing through the overhead. Another song we favored was likely to follow. The book I was reading mentioned Texas several times. Many different friends, in groups, and individuals suddenly were talking about Colorado. A friend sent me pictures of Colorado. On and on it went. A steady stream of Harry Alexander whispering in my ear. It seemed he was trying to communicate with me. On a crisp October evening, I searched for Harry one more time. It came as a great shock to find his obituary. Head spinning and heart breaking, I refused to believe it. That’s the first step, isn’t it? Denial. But there was his name and there was his picture with that same look I remember so well. Why would fate let me find him only after it was too late? A couple of years before, there still might have been a chance. I howled long and loud, I wailed and then I sobbed, blubbered and finally just let silent tears fall. I mourned Harry, and I mourned a long ago fairy tale, the sweetest of dreams, and a love story cut short. I grieved for all we had lost and for the knowledge that now it could never be reclaimed. It seemed that he was trying to tell me something, but once again, I just could not figure out what it was. The idea that he was and sometimes still is trying to communicate with me led me to a psychic group. That led to other groups and very gifted people. Four psychics read him for me. All they were given was his obit picture, and the accuracy of the readings (although there was some variance) was shocking. One, in particular was astounding. Through Harry I have met some wonderful people whom I now call friends. I have found many of my soul tribe and perhaps they are part of his as well. He still whispers to some of them, and to me. Harry took my hand in his and led me to a place of magic and mysticism, and wisdom as he had once before. Because of him there have been new revelations, new experiences, self- discovery and enlightenment. The girl I was and the woman I have become are mostly friends now. I learned with his help that I was not meant to find him until I did, and that things are meant to happen as they do, like it or not. Harry has helped me close some doors and open others. He has stood by me and given me backbone when I needed it, advice, and sometimes a push in the right direction. We relived all those sweet warm moments that brought us both exquisite happiness. He co-authored this story. Harry led me to this segment of my life and in a round- about way He led me to a new love and a new fairy tale. He reminded me of Harry at first glance and the time we spent together; often does even now. When this new love tells me I am the heroine in his love story, I see Harry smiling, I hear him chuckling and I know he is pleased. Oh the irony. I believe I now know why Harry led me to these sites. But he has also taught me that the reason is not as important as the contact. He is not around as much anymore, but he still pops in from time to time and smiles that killer smile that warms my heart and soul. He still talks to me and I still love listening. Harry will always live in my heart and in my memories. There will always be a place for him in my life. I wouldn’t want it any other way. |
Many years ago, 1982 to be precise I somehow did not watch a movie that seemed interesting to me. It was called Making Love. The song by Roberta Flack crossed my mind. The song was released in the same year. Still, it reminds me of Harry and that time in our lives. The lyrics tear at my heart. The movie is not related at all to us or our journey. The ending, however is one of the most touching scenes of all time. The former lovers met again; were able to face each other with no bitterness or resentment. After talking briefly, they parted. He realized that she had in her own way paid homage to him and to them. That led me to a poem by Rupert Brooke.* before he left, she raised a hand to tenderly caress the side of his face. That small gesture is intensely eloquent. I had let myself believe without a sliver of doubt, that Harry and I would have at least another instant in this lifetime. I am sorely disappointed that it was evidently not meant to be. I always thought there would be one more spectacular moment. I dreamed of our reunion, and I rehearsed the words I would speak to him.
by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)
When the white flame in us is gone,
And we that lost the world's delight
Stiffen in darkness, left alone
To crumble in our separate night;
When your swift hair is quiet in death,
And through the lips corruption thrust
Has stilled the labour of my breath---
When we are dust, when we are dust!---
Not dead, not undesirous yet,
Still sentient, still unsatisfied,
We'll ride the air, and shine, and flit,
Around the places where we died,
And dance as dust before the sun,
And light of foot, and unconfined,
Hurry from road to road, and run
About the errands of the wind.
And every mote, on earth or air,
Will speed and gleam, down later days,
And like a secret pilgrim fare
By eager and invisible ways,
Nor ever rest, nor ever lie,
Till, beyond thinking, out of view,
One mote of all the dust that's I
Shall meet one atom that was you.
Then in some garden hushed from wind,
Warm in a sunset's afterglow,
The lovers in the flowers will find
A sweet and strange unquiet grow
Upon the peace; and, past desiring,
So high a beauty in the air,
And such a light, and such a quiring,
And such a radiant ecstasy there,
They'll know not if it's fire, or dew,
Or out of earth, or in the height,
Singing, or flame, or scent, or hue,
Or two that pass, in light, to light,
Out of the garden, higher, higher. . . .
But in that instant they shall learn
The shattering ecstasy of our fire,
And the weak passionless hearts will burn
And faint in that amazing glow,
Until the darkness close above;
And they will know---poor fools, they'll know!---
One moment, what it is to love.
The anger and the bitterness faded; overtaken by the great love I have for Harry, in spite of the horrific ending of us. I had always believed that he and I would have one more idyllic moment in this lifetime. Of course in the very depths of my heart, abided hope that he would somehow find me and love me still or again. Still is the word of preference. It is impossible to consider that I, that we, were completely removed from his mind and heart; that we were not part of his memory. Because we should have held a special place there. I never let myself completely believe otherwise. However, in the event that it never came to be, I hope he found great love again. I hoped he would fall madly in love with someone who was in love with him. Someone who loved him a much and as deeply as I had. I wished him a wife and family, and a beautiful life. I hoped that he would find true happiness once more. Being that he loved me and our life as he did, and as I did, it is easy to believe it could never measure up to what we had. Even something close would have been phenomenal. Any bitterness left over was no longer directed toward Harry, but at what had happened and the surprise of it all. It was replaced by a dull aching deep in my heart that has never gone far away. The questions still sear my heart. But I do hope, truly hope, he fell madly in love again. I hope she was his best friend and biggest fan.
To be sure, Harry broke my heart and at the time, crushed my spirit. Because I don’t have all the facts I cannot draw a conclusion. But I can still think of him as a good guy wearing a white hat. He was a purveyor of knowledge, a teacher, eager to share. He was a numbers guy who believed in magic. As down to earth, and staid as he was, he still could and would soar, wingless through the night skies. He was comfortable in his wealth but still simpatico with the working class. He was diverse. He was an advocate for truth, justice, and the American way. He was a gift to the world, to all who knew him, and to me. He was and is one of the heroes that have walked this earth. Whatever he did or did not do, I remember the man he was, the goodness, the view of this world from our lofty perch. I cannot forget the twinkle in his eyes, his face lighting up when he was happy or excited. I recall with joy the way he looked at me and smiled, the tenderness he showed unabashedly, each and every time he laid eyes on me. I can still feel his touches so soft, they were barely perceptible. And I remember the way he made me feel as my companion, my dance partner, and my lover. I hope he was able to remember.
I was very sorry to hear of the loss of his parents, as well. I am glad to know that Harry was able to see them and spend time with them before their passing. One of the biggest regrets is that I was never able to meet any of his clan. I wanted to see the people he described and loved so deeply, first hand. Meeting them would have scared me to no end, but I wanted that to happen, expected it. Even, if my fears had materialized and they all hated me, I know I would have loved every one of them. The connection to Harry would have been enough to make me love them. The goodness that he saw in his family would have been a delight to see for myself. The love they all felt for him would have touched my heart. And, in fact, it did, to the point that it could.
I have tried to find Teresa. In honor of Harrys memory, I have tried to locate Ralphie. Neither of them turned up in any of the searches or questions to those who might help find them. Consuela has passed on and Benecio has remarried and moved. He will not discuss any of it.
Had this account not come from journals kept at the time, it could conceivably seem embellished or romanticized. There was no need to go to such lengths. I did expand on thoughts and feelings as my version of shorthand was translated. And memories became fresher and clearer to me so that I could untangle some of the knots. It seemed important to tell all of it. He was gorgeous, had a good job he enjoyed, employees he liked, he was good at what he did and that was acknowledged by those who mattered. Harry excelled at everything, seemingly with little effort. He had family and friends who were dear to him. There was never a doubt that he was loved in return. Comfortable financially, he was able to pursue his goals and follow his dreams. During that period here in Tampa, he was carefree and contented. He loved his life and was looking forward to the future. There was a young woman who was madly in love with him, and more importantly, he was wildly in love with that same woman. She was his princess and he was her knight, her champion. It was a stopover for him, an enchanted pause in the stories of our lives. We left an ever present mark in this world. That joyous time is indelible in the pages of time. Every twist and turn on the road we shared was enthralling. It was one of life’s great joys being his traveling companion for part of the journey. I hope that I have adequately described our roles and the acts of our story. He would want you to know about that blissful moment in his life. He would want you to share in it and celebrate it.
"Rocky Mountain High" is primarily inspired by John Denver's move to Aspen, Colorado three years earlier and his love for the state. The seventh stanza makes a reference to destruction of the mountains' beauty by commercial tourism. The song was considered a major piece of 1970s pop culture, and became a well-associated piece of Colorado history.
The song briefly became controversial that year when the U.S. Federal Communications Commission was permitted by a legal ruling to censor music deemed to promote drug abuse. Numerous radio stations cautiously banned the song until Denver publicly explained that the "high" was his innocent description of the sense of peace he found in the Rockies. In 1985, Denver testified before Congress in the Parents Music Resource Center hearings about his experience:
This was obviously done by people who had never seen or been to the Rocky Mountains, and also had never experienced the elation, celebration of life, or the joy in living that one feels when he observes something as wondrous as the Perseid meteor shower on a moonless, cloudless night, when there are so many stars that you have a shadow from the starlight, and you are out camping with your friends, your best friends, and introducing them to one of nature's most spectacular light shows for the first time.
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