Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wandering Into a Happier Time...

The last entry was one of great sadness, of the death of a friend. This one is of great Joy and Happiness. In slightly over two weeks, my best friend is getting married.

I have known Michael since around 1991 or 1992. He was a student of the piano teacher who was teaching in the same building I was. On occasion, I would drop in to use the piano teacher's photocopier and eventually met most of his students. One evening, I recognized Mike at a coffee shop and sat with him for a coffee and cigarette. A couple of years later, Mike was in University and he and his classmates would all be at the coffee shop during the evenings when I'd stop in on my way home from teaching.

Mike's interests were far beyond the 'normal' university student, and his maturity, knowledge and wisdom exceeded even most of his professors! Having many of the same interests, our friendship deepened, even though I am closer in age to his parents.

From 1994 to 1999 we were almost always off hiking, camping, or chilling in a coffee shop together. In '97, he became musical director for the University's theatrical production of "The Wizard of Oz" and asked me to play drums in the band. I know now what a big step that was for him. I had been a 'professional' musician since he was an infant and he hadn't yet begun to play professionally. I accepted since I had been mostly teaching for a number of years and thought it would be interesting to perform again. The added bonus of being beneath the stage and therefore out of sight from the audience made it even more fun. That summer we worked together in a dinner theater production that lasted three months total, rehearsals included. Our afternoon coffees at a local cafe' kept us both sane.

In 1998, I was asked to work in a local band with national aspirations, and when asked if I knew a piano player, quickly suggested Mike.

Mike and I worked well together onstage and spent much time together exploring the towns in which we were playing. After one rather demanding tour in the summer of 1999, Mike began to think of returning to University to continue his education and by the beginning of the year 2000, he had moved to Ottawa and began studying as well as working as a choir director and sales manager in a music store.

I did not see Mike much after that. We kept in touch via e-mail and whenever he was home for a visit in the summer, we'd get together and spend a few hours, maybe even a couple of days together.

Then, one magical beautiful day he introduced me to Claire. She was more lovely than an ocean sunrise, more radiant than the Northern Lights in autumn, and oh, her smile!

And HIS smile!

My dearest friend had found his true love. Not many years passed until one day he arrived at my door to spend some time. The lovely Claire had chosen to stay with his parents, to allow two old friends some time alone. In my back yard with our coffee, he turned serious and said, almost reverently,

"Jones, I'm going to ask Claire to marry me."

I wept.

I had seen Mike through at least four relationships, maybe more, since we'd met. Some were disastrous, others just didn't work out. But this relationship... This time it was special. I knew when I met Claire that she, if anyone, would be the one to bring my friend Ultimate Happiness.

Michael and Claire will be married in her hometown, Paris France, on May the 16th 2009. I will be unable to attend as time and budget have both conspired to keep me in Canada. However, my heart will be with them both as they openly and publicly state their commitment to share their lives together forever.

Michael and Claire, you are two very wonderful people who are both VERY important to me. Look after each other, and come visit when you're back in this part of the world.

I love you both.

Still wandering...


  1. Beautiful story...

    Mike is a special guy and I too am so happy he's found the right person :)

    Amazing times and amazing stuff.

    Miss ya and miss our times at that coffee shop!

  2. When I think back on those days, I do so with great fondness. I miss you all! You, Mike, Bobbi, and of course Tony. Bobbi and I stay in touch through e-mail and she DOES get home once in a while, but beyond that...

  3. Jones;

    Such a special note. It fills me with great love and lots of memories. Lot's of campfire talks and plans over coffee. Spending all of those years with you was a great pleasure and a great learning experience. You're right to say that it was a big deal for me to ask you to play drums for our ensemble. I had no idea what kind of voyage we would be on together after that few months of regular playing together.

    I also miss those years that we spent at Robin's especially after we met Kevin. These are years that I will always treasure. It is fascinating that we are all so far apart now. I'm writing this in Paris to you lonnie in Donkin. Kevin's note from Japan ties the line across the northern hemisphere.

    I am very happy that I've met claire and am going to be wedded to her here. I have wished that I could have my old friends here with me. I've learned that one does not really make that many friends in life. That many close friends anyway. You will always be one of my closest Jones. You knew about my marriage plans before even my parents did. And I also know that I don't need you here and that you are sharing in my joy from where you are. We'll have a coffee, I'll fill you in and we'll have our time together around the experience. As close friends that's all we need.

    I miss you all and will be thinking about you until we meet again...thanks for sharing those memories's nice to hear if from you.


  4. Michael, you are and always will be as much a teacher to me as a friend. That's the lesson of Karma; we keep coming back to each other, lifetime after lifetime, to teach the things we all need to know to survive this eternity of being born and reborn. The older we all get the more important we become to each other. That is why your happiness is so important and I know Claire will be a great part of that happiness, as you will be hers. As the time approaches for your wedding, I wish you Great Peace and Abundant Joy; for that day and for Eternity.

    Many Blessings upon you both. Give Claire a special hug from me.

    Love you both...


  5. How very beautiful.Hopefully Michael can send you some pics and post them. With skipe the world is smaller, closer. I really like your letter. I wish them every happiness.

  6. Thank you Verna... I'm sure you'd love them both too. They have that effect on people. LOL!


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