Well, I do. I don’t really know about you. But I assume, incorrectly most often, that I will see a friend again, have a chance to express my love more adequately, catch up on what’s going on in her life. And I let time slip by, and I don’t.
I lost a dear one yesterday. Suddenly and unexpectedly and … but these things happen, and I should have known better.
My house is full of little reminders of her. There’s a photo of her on a NYC bus with her youngest son on my desk. I’m sitting, right now, next to a box half-full of alpaca yarn she sent me after a recent trip to Ecuador. In our living room, the other half of that yarn is on needles for two sleeves and the body of a cardigan. There are reminders of her in my kitchen, in the room where Kate plays the piano, in the little box of earrings I keep on a dresser, and even in the basement where I’ve stored a bunch of the boxes and packing materials she gave me and used to help me pack up our breakables in our Queens apartment when I really really really could not face leaving NYC and her behind. She is not the only person to have so permeated our lives, but she is one of the very best.
I am so grateful that she sent me the yarn. There had been a long lull in our conversations and correspondence. You see? I thought we had more time. That gift out of the blue caused me to write her a letter of gratitude. I hope she saw it before she left us.
She made me a better person. More brave, more confident, more generous, more realistic and yet more hopeful. Do you feel the vacuum she’s left in the world? It’s all I can feel at the moment and, I suspect, for a very long time to come.