Passage To Bliss

Linda Elliott-George

© Copyright 2002 by Linda Elliott-George

Photo of Linda and Alex.

My bare feet step cautiously on the slimy rocks as I struggle to gather courage. I've not been in a river before and I can't swim. I notice frogs and other living creatures that I would rather not get close to. Kay is wearing my new bathing suit. It's black and white checked with a shape on the top part for budding breasts to fit into. Kay has more to show than I, she thought it would be more fitting that she wears it. Green-eyed feelings surface as I look at her frolicking under the bridge. I tip toe my way from stone to stone towards my older, attractive cousin, as I think about the rest of my family and wonder where Chicago is.

They've gone there to holiday with Uncle Orville. My sister Nancy and I are 'farmed out' to Aunt Isabel and Uncle Peter's in South-western Ontario.

I dream about being grown up and in charge. I dream about doing what I want to do instead of what I am told to do. I dream about holidays with swimming pools instead of at Uncle Peter's farm standing in the dirty river beneath the bridge. From my view under the bridge a cow is drinking from the river's edge. Did it pee?

Kay is wading towards me.

"What's wrong with you are you scared of the blood suckers?"

I don't even know what they are so I will not admit to fear.

"Of course not." I state emphatically.

"Good, than you won't mind that one is on your ankle now."

I scream and jump, flapping my arms like a chicken. "Get it off! Get it off!"

Kay reaches down to pick up a stick floating by and bends toward my ankle.

"You have to stand still, she consoles so I can flick it off."

I look on in horror as she scraps the grey smarmy, slimy slug from my skin flipping it into the water

"Come on, aren't you even getting wet"? She teases.

"No, not now. I just want to go back to the house, I whine. Let's sit in the sun."

We hike through the pasture climb over the fence and arrive back to the large yellow brick farmhouse. White wooden Muskoka chairs grace the veranda and we point our scrawny juvenile bodies west to shrivel up with the afternoon sun, as we relax sipping lemonade and eating warm oatmeal cookies baked by Aunt Isabel. It is 1960. I am ten years old, eight more days to play with Kay.

Nearly ten years later I drive west along the trans Canada highway through Northern Ontario on our first family holiday. A convoy of two vehicles with twelve people packed in like sardines. I drive the shiny new, white dodge dart. With me is my Uncle Frank (it is his car) three sisters and our youngest brother. With my parents, and in the car we follow, are brother Danny, sister Nancy and family friend Irene with her daughter. When we get to Saskatchewan we will leave Irene and her daughter with her brother to holiday with him.

We are on our way to Calgary where Aunt Rhoda lives. Towed behind father's car is a pop-up trailer, which we girls will sleep in when we arrive. Driving day and night we stop only to eat our meals out of the coolers kept in the trunk of our car and to line up for the rest room stops. We have pasta salads, fruit, bread and Kool-Aid. On the road again a half hour after one of our fuel-feed and flatulence stops, when whispers are heard from the back seat. My five-year-old brother Shane needs to pee! For heaven sake we only just left one of our few pit stops.

"Why didn't you go pee at the Garage like the rest of us?"

"I didn't need to go then, he whines.

"Well we're not stopping now, we've got to keep up with your dad."

I wonder why, it's not as if we are going to get lost on one road arrow-straight for a thousand miles!

Carol comes to the rescue.

"Here Shane, pee in this paper cup and I'll dump it out the window when you're done. Just don't overflow it!"

Shane stands up behind my seat and we giggle as he pees in the cup.

"I've never heard of such a thing," exclaims sixty-five year old Uncle Frank

"Well, it's better than having him pee his pants and you said we couldn't stop."

We arrive in Calgary after three days and nights of driving. We visit the stampede; sleep in the camper parked on Aunt Rhoda's front lawn. I wonder what her neighbours thought? We visit the Zoo and drive to Cousin Dan's in British Columbia. We sleep in a tent with the mountains at our front flap and speculate if the bears are hungry. I think I slept with my eyes open.

I swim in a river of cool pristine water cascading over clean rocks as it flows from the Rocky Mountains. I have just turned nineteen. My hair is long; my body looks womanly, and voluptuous in my two-pieces swimsuit. A baby is growing in my tummy. It's been only five weeks so no one knows yet. I wish I could stay here forever. I daydream about my family going home without me. I start over here where no one knows me. I wish I were not pregnant.

The little boy I play with is a beautiful child with hair like curled corn silk and mischievous, happy blue eyes. He runs gleefully from the water to help me scoop out the hole we are digging in the sand. We take handfuls of mucky wet sand and pile them up around the perimeter. Next we play with the miniature trucks making tracks in the sand hill with the tiny tires. He wears a blue swimsuit the same colour is mine. We both have sand sticking to our bottoms underneath our suits. I reach for his tiny two-year-old hand.

"Come, let's go in the water and wash off the sand, mommy has crackers and a drink for you."

We wade into lake Erie and I cuddle him lovingly to me when the water gets too deep for him.

Splash, Splash, giggle, first Grandchild is such a joy!

We play at rinsing the sand from under our suits and off our bodies then step cautiously out of the water, across the wet shoreline, up the incline to my daughter in law nestled on the blanket nursing the baby. My son is further along the beach installing kitchen cupboards in a cottage.

This is one of my last opportunities to enjoy my family before I travel again. My travels this time will take me 7000 miles east, across the Atlantic Ocean.

"It's only a wee bit of water". Alex said each time I expressed doubt about the vast distance between us and how we would ever be together when we were each in effect living such separate lives in divided worlds.

Alex was my Gigabyte lover. We fulfilled our destiny with the technology of the Internet and found my soul mate 7000 miles away. Connecting through fibre optic cables was the beginning, yet there were times I wondered if we would be cyber lovers forever. He was a man of action. Like me, he believed that our connection, was orchestrated by a' higher force.'

His name is Alex, a Scottish born ex Grand Prix motorcycle racing man. His hair has been silver since he was nineteen, of rugged stature with legs like a wrestler he has the most sensitive emotional IQ I ever imagined in a man! He lived in a little Market Village in East Anglia with three female housemates, Cindy, Sancha and Cheeka. Alex spent many evenings sitting at his computer in the office of his 24-hour Rescue

Recovery business. Alex used ICQ to chat with people all around the world, escaping the stress of balancing accounts and managing this urgent response type business.

I was doing the same, alone, in my sixth floor one bedroom flat in Dundas, Ontario. As I sat at my pc one night I was clicking through random chat partners when Alex's message caught my interest. His message read, 'X grand prix racer, likes to talk with all feminine females, care, share and dare... Is this you? Send to receive'. That was the first of many typing chats and our fingers were tingling with an instant electrical chemistry!

People often describe a 'physical chemistry' when they meet someone for the first time. We were not influenced in any way except from the inside 'spirit'. I did not know what Alex looked like yet I fell in love with his spirit, emotional intelligence and his ability to communicate. He spoke of coming to knock on my door and I would accuse him of 'teasing'.

"You're not believing," he would say. "You must trust."

Eventually I did trust enough to meet Alex in person at Toronto airport and bring him home to stay with me. It was November 10 of 1998, when he ambushed me from behind even though I had my back against the wall. I was standing against a closed money exchange booth watching both entrance doors intently. He came through without my seeing him, slinked around through the crowd to come up behind the corner the money exchange booth, embraced me from behind and spun me around to gaze into his eyes for the very first time!

He said all along, "I will find you. Don't worry about finding me."

Arriving back at my flat, he lifted me up with his brawny arms to carry me through the doorway.

One of the significant things that reinforced our destiny was that we each have a Viking Hat! Alex had received his from team-mates, several years earlier after winning a motorcycle race; a co-worker gave me mine only a week before Alex's arrival.

We spent five days together; I took him to meet my family, we saw Niagara Falls, climbed a mountain, watched a movie, went shopping, out for dinner. The most significant event was our supernatural merging of energies.

It was as if we were Souls who lived together in another lifetime and now, were being gifted with a second chance of happiness.

The dreaded day arrived when we had to say good-bye. Our good-bye ritual included Alex tying a black cord around my ring finger and cutting a lock of my hair to take with him. I kept a few strands of his too of course!

My getting us lost on the way to the airport was the only near crisis. Alex demonstrated his ability to take care of things even then. He studied the map to pin down our location and directed us to the airport on time for his flight.

When Alex returned to Norfolk, we kept in touch using icq and the telephone.

Four months later, I visited Alex and his kitties. Alex and I spent thirteen passion filled days together in his part of the world. We choose matching Celtic wedding bands at Goldsmith's, and endured another weepy good-bye at Norwich Airport when I had to return to Canada and my Social Work career.

My decision is made. My ticket purchased, I resigned my job and am saying my good byes. I believe in myself and I am making better choices. I'm doing what I want, rather than what other's want.

September 1, 1999 I step off the KLM plane at Norwich airport in Norfolk County in England. The sun is beaming down upon me as I skip gleefully across the tarmac into his welcoming arms. Eyes illuminated with love gaze down into mine glazed with joyful tears.

" What took you so long? He asks. I've only been waiting a life time!"

Childhood holidays on a farm with my cousin

Family motor trips, crowded in by the dozen

Being a kid again, building castles with my grandson

It is never too late to begin having fun.

Life is the genuine journey to treasure

Time and distance only relative measures

Seven miles to visit a complaining Aunt

I can speak up, "Sorry, I can't."

When the company is a bore it can be just too far to bother.

Seven thousand miles for a Soul mate's Love and "It's only a wee bit of water!"

We stayed in the honeymoon suite of the Station Hotel in Dumphries, our room complete with a four-poster bed and Jacuzzi. We married wearing matching Dress Gordon Kilts and affirmed our vows over the Blacksmith's Anvil. Our witnesses were the spirits of countless others who had gone before us.

Alex lifted me into his arms again and with my bouquet of heather held high and my Kilt hanging low we made the centre of page 11 of the Feb 15 edition of the Scottish Daily Record!

The day following our wedding we drove north to East Kilbride. Alex took me to his mother's burial plot where we stood filled with emotions of a different type than those of the previous day. We visited other in-laws and drove back to Gretna to stay at the hotel in a room overlooking the Gretna Green sign.

We have cemented our love with regular communication and doing ordinary things together. Even shopping for groceries is fun when we do it together.

There are occasionally days when I miss Ontario, and my large family including two young grandchildren. The most important thing is having someone to love. To have a lover who is your confidante and friend who helps you to feel young again. This year we celebrated our first anniversary and spent a week in Majorca for our delayed honeymoon. There is a comfort and security of knowing our souls are held together with the strings of Celestial Angels. Every day is stimulating with a man who is sensitive, romantic, and insightful. Married life is delightful!

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