Wisdom gathered in tranquility

by Feb 12, 2017

“Jade signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility, dispelling the negative and encouraging one to see oneself as they really are.”  –Author, Judy Hall

A baby girl was born in Connecticut on Halloween in 1955. She would be known by the unusual name of Jade. The following day in 1955, my father went to court over 1,000 miles away. He was given a suspended sentence under the condition he and his family move out of the state of Florida. A few months later, we relocated to Tennessee. Eventually, Jade and her family would head west to California.

By the mid 1970s, I was graduating from college and my future best friend would soon become a member of the Screen Actors Guild aka SAG. It would take another 30-plus years before we would meet.

When the 1980s came around, Jade had found the love of her life, married and moved to Tennessee. I was busy celebrating Christmas every day of the year, along with my mother, as we operated our Mistletoe Christmas Shop together. It felt so strange when Jade told me she had shopped there and yet, neither of us remember ever meeting.

I sold my former art gallery eleven years ago but continued to work there for three more years. Jade approached the new owner seeking representation and our official introduction was made. We definitely shared the same sense of humor and while it was fun to see her when she would briefly stop by, it wasn’t until I finally left the gallery that we had time to develop our friendship. We immediately bonded and that bond has grown stronger over time. My friendship extends to her amazing husband who engineers, arranges and records my original musical compositions and has produced my five CDs.

Because Jade is still a member of SAG, she receives preview copies of films for voting purposes. This allowed me to view, last January, what would become the “Best Film” award-winner, Spotlight. The movie dealt with the cover up of sexual abuse within the Catholic church and is worthy of all of the praise it received. However, for me, because of my own past of sexual abuse within the church, along with what secrets I suspected were waiting for me in a box from my parents I had stored for 15 years, the movie became the catalyst for me to finally face my past.

It was Jade, two months later, who first realized there was something wrong. I had been keeping what I had found to myself and her confrontation allowed me to let it out. This past summer, Jade was by my side when the psychic asked if she had ever met my mother. She had not. He then turned to me and said that my parents were my protectors. Then turning to her, he said: “You’re his protector too. His mother sent you to watch after him.”

Jade was the first person to read my early draft. She came up with the book cover concept and scanned the vintage photos so that they could be included. She has supported me every step of the way, encouraged me, talked me off the ledge (more than once) and dared anyone to cross me.

It fascinates me to think my best friend – born the day before my dad went to trial more than 1,000 miles away – is the reason I watched the movie – that caused me to open the box – that I had stored for years – to learn about his crime – that I am also a victim of – then finally write the book – hoping it will be of help to others.

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J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.

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