Two weeks ago I met Hilary Hahn for the second time. I know she must have recognized me. The last time I saw her was two years ago. She was in Jacksonville for three days. I saw her in concert on Thursday. Gave her some fan mail. Brought all 3 of her albums for her to autograph. Broke into hives because I was so excited/nervous about meeting her. She asked where I was from, ethnically. I told her I was born in the Philippines, but I don’t remember living there. She told me she was born in Virginia but she doesn’t remember her birthplace very well either. I wanted to tell her that I can’t speak Tagalog, but at least she can still speak Virginian. I was too tongue-tied. Then I came back on Saturday to get an autograph for a friend. She thanked me for the letter I gave her, then I quickly left her alone for fear that security might escort me out. So I don’t doubt she remembers me, considering what an obsessed freak I was when I first met her. And to think, I was also knitting a scarf for her. What a weirdo. Two weeks ago, I congratulated her on her Grammy and thanked her as graciously as I could for the autograph. Still very nice, very friendly. She’s aging well, which means she doesn’t look older than she did two years ago. That’s pretty much expected from age 21 to 23.
Last week I listened to Madeleine Albright give a talk at the Barnes and Noble at Union Square about her memoir, Madam Secretary. What an incredible lady. What a full life she’s lived. She’s not very tall, either. She’s amazingly articulate, dynamic; so expertly diplomatic. She answered a few questions from the audience. The questions covered a variety of subjects, and the former Secretary of State answered them with phenomenal grace. Some of the questions weren’t easy. She cushioned the personal attacks and shots at her ethics. She admitted her imperfections and she was profusely apologetic about certain remarks concerning sensitive international issues. It was a grand thing to observe her sparring with the audience and wonder how both parties could still be standing on their feet at the end, relatively unscathed. It was a tremendous experience.
I spoke with my mother on the phone last night. She’s getting married. Her boyfriend spoke briefly to me. It seemed he was asking for my blessing to marry my mother. It was very sweet. I told him if she was happy, then I’d be happy for her. She’s getting married in about a month. It’ll be a very small, private ceremony, in front of a justice of the peace. I wanted to cry. I don’t know why. Still trying to suss out my feelings. Where I stand. I guess I’ve recognized my desire for independence. It just seems different, because she has her own life, apart from being my mother. And I guess I’m having trouble separating the events. Either she’s Tom’s wife or she’s my mom. It’s hard comprehending she could be both. Not that she doesn’t have it in her to be both. She definitely does. It seems she can’t be my mom AS MUCH. This isn’t making sense. I need her. But she needs Tom. The two worlds in my mind will just have to reconcile.
Trying to help some friends through some tough times. These friends are well aware of their struggles. They’re searching for understanding. The answers are sometimes tougher than the questions. And whatever process it takes to get to the answers–however long, however turbulent, however painful–is supposed to ready them once they arrive at those answers. My friends are amazing. They’re faithful, they’re kind and compassionate. They know they’re God’s children. They can make it.