I was talking with an old friend last week about the LI Beltane festival, and how this years event was an utter flop. She was thinking about taking over the organization of the event and wanted to bring it back to it's former glory. I offered to help as much as I could from a distance, and may even end up going back to do the ritual if need be.

Today is Joe's birthday, he'd have been 59 today. The announcement came this morning that Melissa is taking over the event planning.

Coincidence? Serendipity? I don't know nor care. What I DO care about is that the event that consumed our lives for 10 years and spawned a bunch of groups, events and gave the impetus to the NYC Pagan Pride Project to get started is going to continue.

I surprised myself my crying bittersweet but happy tears. I miss my Joe. He was my best friend as well as magical partner. He propped me up when I was weak, applauded my successes, and (sometimes begrudgingly) helped me achieve what I wanted to achieve. I can still hear him sigh, "Yes, My Lady" when I thought up some new crazy scheme to add to the event. I miss going to the museums with him, listening to him lecture on art or spirituality. I miss his chuckle. I even miss the way he'd put his arms over his head and look up to the sky as if for inspiration before he started to speak on something. I used to HATE that; it seemed to me, in my immature state of mind, that he was being condescending or patronizing. But now that I'm older, more experienced and hopefully, wiser, I see that he was seeking a way to express his thoughts. And what usually came out of him was educational, inspirational and profound. Occasionally profane. Sometimes, both. Now when I think of him, that's the position I see him in.

And how I miss it. I've lost plenty of people to death, including my mother. But Joe is the one I ALWAYS miss. I talk to him all the time. Sometimes, he answers. Sometimes, I can even feel him massaging my neck in the way that only he could.

So today is a happy, but sad occasion for me. I can't express how happy I am that the Beltane event is going to continue and that the people taking it over want to bring back what made it special in the first place: it was the PEOPLE, the COMMUNITY that made it great. It wasn't the "Joe and Jackie show" as much as it may have seemed from the outside. Sure, we were the most visible but we were merely the instruments of the Gods. The Gods have not forsaken the LI pagan community. They've just been waiting for someone to take up the mantle.

I can't express how happy this makes me. And sad that Joe isn't here to experience this new rebirth. Not in the flesh, anyway. I'm pretty darned sure that he will be poking and prodding Melissa as he's done to me in the past. So be warned, Mel! If a crazy idea occurs to you, and then you hear in the back of your head, "Sigh, yes, my lady", that's Joe telling you he approves.

Happy Birthday my dear friend. You are loved and missed.
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