The Unexpected Present

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Take the Weight Off

close up photo of martini with olives

It’s a week since the breakout and last night I spoke to a friend who Yuri and I met at the Catskill Mountain Resort one evening when we were newly ensconced in our lakeside hideaway. I had a chocolate martini but was impressed with her specific description of a chilled Grey Goose martini– no vermouth, with three olives. Bone-dry. Or a Kangaroo. Immediate friends.

Our conversation meandered with music at its core. She played piano, her father played violin. She still has his violin. It needs looking after. Yuri said it needs to be played. Growing up, both our families had a summer home in the area. Beach Lake, PA across the bridge from Narrowsburg, NY. Peggy Runway Hill. “Where was your house? Ours was the house with the green garage across the road.” Her eyes widened, “That was our house. I spent many summers there listening to my transistor radio in the bungalow.”

Turns out they sold the place to a priest, Father Bilynsky, parish priest at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Passaic, NJ who sold it to my parents. It’s still in the family for almost fifty years. Her piano is still in the garage. I recently returned her transistor radio. Eventually, building trust, Yuri took her father’s violin, had it cleaned and tuned. It sings.

My friend is one of the intricate circles of friends that have kept me aligned and moving forward throughout this ordeal. Last night, she tells me she feels a great weight is being lifted and I agree. Deep exhale as I tell her about Yuri’s remarkable comeback. He’s healing and gaining strength every day. Doctors and therapists are putting him on a tough regimen but after what he has gone through, it’s a feasible training protocol like the discipline he would undertake for gigs and recording performances. Our conversations are positive and filled with future plans.

When I came back from my visit, I call Yuri to let him know I got home safely. We chat a bit more about the little things– the bird calls at dusk, Nell taking in the night breeze, the first firefly flickering about– so important to keep in these moments, frozen in time. I tell him how I miss the way he would find me wherever I am or whatever I’m doing to bring a glass of wine, a shared evening delight. He tells me that will not change when we get him home.

So, I haven’t lost the weight physically (would love to drop a few pounds) as he has, but a great weight has come off my shoulders for now at least. It’s because I know we have a great medical and therapy team in place and Yuri and I are a team again, working towards the same goal. He’s back. I’m so glad. I’m so glad. I’m glad, I’m glad, I’m glad.

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