JK and I met in the radio program at Adirondack Community College more years ago than I'd like to mention. We couldn't have been more different: I was a girl of color, he was white. I was citified and he was country, I liked R&B and he liked classic rock. I was 17 and he was 30 and had served in Vietnam. But that didn't stop us from becoming friends and developing feelings for each other. It was a rather innocent relationship since I intended to remain a virgin until marriage. But we still went to mixers and parties, danced and made out, and all was relatively well.
But of course it couldn't last; and the last time I saw him was my second year of college. The last time I heard from him was a year after that. He had moved to California and sent me a letter. I responded but then didn't hear back from him.
So getting back to the dream: I saw him and went up to give him a big hug. He had always had the best hair: long, luxurious dark chocolate brown and I always loved to run my fingers through it. So of course in the dream I did this and he was smiling. Then I started noticing things. He was wearing a plaid shirt and jeans, and I noticed that they were very faded. I then noticed that he smelled differently: something I didn't recognize. And then I noticed that he looked kind of faded. But he was still my JK.
I went to work today and told my co-worker Amy about the dream. She said, "Why don't you Google him and see if he's around somewhere?" I said he had a really common name; but I went to Google and put in "John Kelley Whitehall". Imagine my shock when his obituary was the first thing that popped up! I gasped and Amy said, "Is that him?" I answered yes. She said, "I'm so sorry" and went back to her desk while I quietly shed a couple of tears for him. He died July 15, 2013...
Apparently, talking to Dave T. about radio got my subconscious thinking about when I studied radio, so JK came to mind. I believe that he was faded in my "dream" because it was his spirit paying me a visit. I had wondered what had become of him after all these years. I just wish I had looked for him sooner. My daughter says that I have a kind spirit, which is why I get these periodic "visits" from those who have passed. I am glad I got to "see" him.
So in honor of JK, here is the poem I wrote for him when I was 17:
Nature’s Son, Freedom’s Child.
Wind-kissed, sun blessed,
Yet his soul is not at rest.
Elusive as a passing thought.
Out of reach, like a star;
With you yet his thoughts are far.
Alighting for a too-brief moment
Only to be off again:
Afraid of too much time to spend.
Moody as an Autumn sky,
Sometimes brooding, tempest-laden,
Other times: a sun drenched haven.
A gentleness like summer rain.
The pacifying quality
Of calming, sweet serenity.
Indian Summer in the flesh.
Radiating warmth and peace.
Unfortunate: it soon will cease.
A kindred spirit with the sea.
A tranquil surface, only under
Untamed passions much like thunder.
Spending time within himself.
Solitary as the night
Before the rays of morning light.
The only master of himself.
Forever planning to run wild:
Nature’s Son, Freedom’s Child."
R.I.P. my friend...