I spend most of my time alone…here in New York City, a city of 8.4 million people. Sometimes I get very lonely and sometimes I feel forgotten. None of this is Mariam’s fault. She works very hard at Mount Sinai…slowly but steadily toward total retirement which should happen sometime after the middle of May. Sometime around my birthday. The birthday when I will turn 70!
Mariam and I have a routine of sorts. We often meet at the Beacon Bar which is a four minutes walk for me, if the lights are in my favor. I will have glass or two of Greenpoint IPA and Mariam will have a Chardonnay…all this before Happy Hour is over at 6 pm.
Last evening, just as the prices were about to rise and after we had spoken to a few of our new friends, Mariam turned to me and said something that was unexpected…and desperately needed.
Okay, it’s a few days after Valentine’s Day. And this year we agreed not to exchange Hallmark cards (and she doesn’t really care for chocolates). We knew how we felt about one another…we’ve been through a lot. She saved my life when I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2003 by finding the best hematologist in the City.
So, what did she say to me? What did she say that still rings in my ears and especially in my heart?
She turned to me and said:
“I love you, you know. My heart is full of you.” I looked at her somewhat mute. I mumbled that I loved her as well, but I didn’t have that special phrasing that makes a special moment so endearing…and so lasting.
I had never heard it said quite like that before. There is no Hallmark card that could take the place of that short statement. No $30.00 dozen of red roses from the corner deli (the heads will sag in two days) that could have smelled better that the scent of words of love…like the ones Mariam said to me…yesterday afternoon, the day after Valentines Day.
Some sentiments don’t need a day on the calendar to guide you. The special ones come from the moment. The heart is the only guide you will ever need.