I went to the memorial service for the father of a friend of mine tonday. I sat there listening to people who loved him talk about his character, share stories, laugh and cry. With me were nine other women (and one husband) who I went to high school with. How strange; to think back to when we first knew each other, in red and white uniforms marching around on a field, tooting horns. You don't think of a day like this. You don't think that time will pass and you'll move away and move back and some will get married and some will have kids and the next thing you know you are all lined up like in the days of the marching band again. This time, it was a different kind of company front.
I thought to myself how grateful I was to know that I would leave the temple and go back to my life. My lucky life in which my loved ones all still exist. I can still hug them. How awful for my friend and her family. Her father's death was unexpected.
But as I left there and sat in my car and checked my email, the feelings I had leaving the service shifted. My cousin, who has been fighting off her cancer for nearly three years, is out of options, said her online journal entry which came to me via email. There were lots of words, phrases; only abut 20% effective...none of the chemo is working...great deal of difficulty breathing...
And the one that really told me this is it...my doctors have encouraged me to wean myself away from work sooner rather than later, to enjoy the time I have left.
Enjoy the time I have left.
I have been beyond fortunate in my life. I am healthy (well, aside from that pesky disease but who really counts that?) and no one close to me has gone. Perhaps I am do. But surely not at the expense of this person. This woman who has been in my life for as long as I can remember. The one we called Silly Susan. The one who taught me how to make chocolate chip cookies, who gave me and my friends rides in the back of her pick-up truck, and helped me build my fort. With a draw-bridge and escape hatch to boot! This woman who has become a confidante in my adulthood. A friend.
Surely my first loss should not be her? Right? I mean...right?