Whenever she would call, there would be the cheerful "chirp, chirp, chirp" cutting through the air, and I would answer, "Hey Cricket."
It was a little smile we had between us, a moment of lightness to start our phone calls. I always loved talking to her, no matter how short (because she was driving) or long. We covered everything in the world in our phone talks: gardening, romance, prayer, spiritual longing, staying sober, smoking or not smoking cigarettes, helping friends through tough times. We shared what was uplifting or challenging in our lives. In very few words, we could share the innermost condition of our hearts.
Yesterday in a meeting of local authors brainstorming about how to promote our work, someone's phone rang: "Chirp, chirp, chirp. Chirp, chirp chirp." The first thought in my mind was, "Corey's calling me! From the other side, she's calling me!"
Last night I watched a movie I recommend to anyone who is in this betwixt-and-between place of loving someone who has passed on, and believing, as I do, that it is good and right and natural to stay connected to them. Available on Netflix streaming:Camille.
Don't read the plot reviews in advance! In the beginning you'll think it's about a guy who isn't very nice to his girlfriend. Then, you see that it is a brief exploration of the way that someone we love whose heart has stopped beating might still be "here."
It's just that "here" has a different meaning.