I worked a little with my friend Marta this week.
She has a dreamy little school at the base of Mt. Tabor and we walked with the children up the steep hillside to the tip top playground each day.
Playing away on the cool mountain side, reminding each other that this is a volcano, you know.
Today, as we made our way down, the steep grassy path, the smallest, and dreamiest child holding my hand, someone called "HEIDI?" from one of the houses.
"it's me, Joan, Joanie, Jonathan's sister!"
And sure enough, it was Joan, Jonathan's sister, sitting right there, on the hillside, playing with three babies.
"Are those your grandchildren?"
My mind raced to do the math, just in case I was making a giant faux pas.
" This littlest one is my granddaughter, and I care for the other two, I have been caring for babies for fourteen years."
"I'm still doing preschool!"
I raised the hand of the dreamiest of all, child, to demonstrate that I belonged to that group.
"How on earth did you recognize me?"
"I'm wearing my glasses!"
I did a quick inventory of my appearance, and even with glasses, I look a great deal different than I did in the 80's!
I suppose she had seen me last in 1997.
The last time I spoke to Joan, was early March of 1999.
She phoned me, to tell me that Jonathan had died.
He had been my mentor, my friend, my lover, my everything, when I was in college.
When I was young and idealistic and ridiculously full of myself and hope.
He had informed my world vision profoundly, and made me want to work with children in a more focused way.
"How are Jacob and Sara?"
"They are well, Jacob is a chef, he has two children."
The last time I saw Jacob was at a birthday party for Jonathan's father, in 1997.
He was 12, or 13, and ecstatic to see me.
We went to a movie, we ate pizza.
We remained friends, despite me breaking up with his dad, we all had FUN.
The first time I met Joan, was at a Seder, at her home.
I was a bosomy, blonde 19 year old, scandalizing the whole family.
Who brings a 19 year old to a family Seder? Is what I imagined the sisters saying.
Who knows what they actually said.
I ate gefilte fish, and drank the wine.
"I don't give a shit what anyone thinks."
Jonathan said often.
I didn't attend the memorial service, never got the details, couldn't bare to deal with all of those big feelings, and I had a brand new baby.
I don't do well with crowds, with people, with curated events.
Jonathan would have understood.