A friend of mine is leaving the world. She's been sick for a long time and has fought the good fight. We've known each other for thirty years or more. Her son and my son were best 'get in to troubles together' skate boarding buddies. I've known it was coming for a while now. And I couldn't stop it.
I spent the evening outside in the moonlight with my herd and my dog. They always ground me. And they remind me that there are natural cycles we all are a part of. But I admit that I cried too. I'm kind of greedy that way. I don't care for endings. I've always been a 'beginning and middle' kind of person. I've had to teach myself to accept the endings and to see them as a completion of the circle.
We spent a lot of time together over the years laughing, crying, being frustrated with each other and bickering the way old friends do. We worried about our sons together and laughed at some of the things they did, although we never let them know that.
I was her son's Mama2. He's grown in to a man with his own children and lovely wife, an exciting job where he sees the world from the top of giant buildings. He helped me, years ago, when I was struggling with a business I couldn't manage. He came in to help on some of the weekends without accepting money. He was there as one of my sons. He helped to keep me grounded and focused when I was so tired and frightened I could barely function.
And she has been my friend for all these years. She tried to teach me how to use a sewing machine, much to both of our chagrins. Being patient with fabric and threads is not my talent. But it was hers and I loved her for it.
Favorite memory : After we lost our gallery and home, we moved out to where we live now. It's a wonderful, funky place with crooked doors and windows and rolling hills and woods around us. The whole center of the house was once a barn so the floor plan is a bit eccentric.
She came to see me, I think to check and make sure we were OK. We were sitting in the kitchen having tea and talking about girlfriend things when she looked up, jumped and nearly fell out of her chair. I had forgotten that another friend had given me a joke gift of a huge, full feathered and very life like rooster. I'd set it up on a ledge in the kitchen to roost, so to speak. She had no idea it was there.
We both laughed until we were bent over with it. God, that was a good day! Laughter has carried me through all of the hard patches that life always gives to us. That day was a good place to begin the healing. And the rooster is still sitting up there right where I put him. He's become a fixture here and I always laugh when I see him now.
I've decided to say goodbye by living larger. I'll do my best not to take anything for granted. And I'll try not to whine about the challenges but, instead, to see them as a place to change and grow from. I'm going to paint brighter, ride further and dig deeper. And next year I'm planting thousands of wild flowers for her too. I always do that when someone is born and someone else dies. I'll buy a pound of seeds and drive around doing guerrilla seeding, throwing seeds in to the wind from the truck and singing to old Beatle's albums.
She has been a true force in my life, filling the room and shifting the walls when she is around. Just because she leaves her body doesn't mean she won't be doing more of the same. This year is going to be a good year and so will next year and the year after. In fact it's all good.
Tomorrow I will go say my good byes. And tonight I will sit quietly and watch the stars and remember. It's been a wonderful ride together. And I have no doubt she is going to rock it when she gets to her Heaven.
I love you friend. May the road rise up to greet you and the sun be always at your back. I'll see you somewhere down the line. It's good. It's all good.
I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling and remembering