Slow Dancing

Dear Editor:

It’s been a month since Claudette Thayer passed away. I thought it appropriate to thank this community for its outpouring of love and kindness directed our way. So much praise has been has been sent this way that has been filled with gratitude. Only two words can say it: Thank you!

Claudette and I had 57 anniversaries before she embarked on an adventure that I hope to join her on one day. Meanwhile, I have photos of her over the years - flipping in a slideshow on my desktop. I do miss her mightily but the photo show keeps me grounded and centered.

If I have any regrets it would be that I didn’t dance with her enough. You see, she was a wallflower. She was a beautiful creature and she commanded her own special space wherever she went. People noticed and smiled. But she never felt worthy and shied away.

She loved to slow dance. Close. Breathing in each-other’s ears. Whispering sweet nothings and clutching ever so tenderly. She wasn’t up for fast dancing or rock’n’roll. She simply loved to be held ever-so-close and slowly dance in a spot no bigger that three feet square.

Over the years, and it took a lot of them ... I discovered the reason she liked slow dancing. It made her feel protected and safe. In her teen years, you could say, things in her life weren’t as stable as they could have been. Let’s just say there weren’t a lot of little girls in her life.

Claudette had a father and two step-fathers, the last of whom died in a fiery set-of-doubles gasoline truck crash on Highway 17 between San Jose and Santa Cruz, said to be one of the most dangerous in California. The second trailer uncoupled and he was trying to catch it to keep it from going into oncoming traffic when the whole thing jack-knifed. When it was all over, all they found of him was his melted belt buckle. Lane was a hero. Only he died.  Just another reason for slow dancing.

In retrospect, I wish I could have held her close -slow and easy - before she passed. It’s ok, though... the day will come when we’ll be together again. Slow dancing and safe.

Improvise - Adapt - Overcome. Semper Fi.

J E Ted Thayer