In The Middle Of A Life

Oh, hi.

It’s been a while, huh? I’ve been thinking off and on of this little part of t’internet for a while, but a couple things have made me want to post recently.

First, my friend Julie has said, almost every time she sees me, “I miss your blog.” And it is Julie’s birthday, and I was thinking of coming back anyway. I have probably vanished off many people’s RSS feeds, but this was for me in the beginning, and it is fundamentally for me  now. Even though what has brought me here has more to do with my thoughts about the connections between us, between people.

Fran died. Ten days ago, the cancer that had taken over her world robbed her of her last breath. She was 54 years old. She was my friend. She was loved. She was, she was, she was. She is now in the past tense.

This afternoon, I went to the SPCA thrift store looking for trays for sandwiches and hors d’however-you-spell-it for Fran’s memorial. As I wandered through the store, I remembered thrifting trips with Fran, and how we’d wander and browse, almost independently except to find one another to crow over a good find, or ask for an opinion. I missed her there more acutely than I have since I heard of her passing.

But she has not vanished utterly. What lives on is what she taught me, us, her friends, as well as her daughter. Her gardening expertise, her antiques knowledge, her bone-deep need to research about things.  I will not let this go.  I carry her around in my heart as though it were a rosewood keepsake box. I wish I’d been able to see here more in the last little while, but there was almost never time to take off.

The past couple of years have been dicey, cash-wise for us.  Like, I was mending my socks and underwear as opposed to buying new stuff, kind of dicey. E wasn’t working a lot either.  I went Tunguska on my landlord when he suggested we should buy a new TV to accompany the HD stuff. Turns out (Rick, you were right) we could have afforded it with a little research, but I was ready to skin and barbecue the poor man for suggesting that we spend money.

But for all we have had a poor couple of years, I have come to realize more and more, I am rich in love.

I can give love unstintingly and unconditionally. I  throw that love around like confetti.  I never run out, because all that love is coming back to me. I have people who love me. Probably more than many people do.  I can love my friends for their grace and humour and wit.  They love me back. We are stars that, together, make a constellation. Many constellations. Reaching out, friend to friend to friend, we are all the stars of the night sky.

When a friend dies, she does not stop being a part of the constellations.  She is still a part of our whole, and she is still in our hearts and in our sky.

She shines on.


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