Monday, September 26, 2016
There are days in life where you gather with people you may or may not know because of someone you mutually love. It happens at weddings, it happens sometimes at graduations, it happens when saying goodbye. Today was a goodbye, and while sad, I loved the embrace of Jackie's people. The nice lady behind me who told me that I have lovely sweet daughters. The friend who pointed out Jackie died on international peace day. Jackie's kind Children, Husband and Grandchildren, so graciously comforting us while in the midst of their own grief. Everyone feeling the need to let everyone else know how loved they were through all the stories Jackie loved to tell about her brood.
The girls and I were going to have a tea party at the arboretum afterward. Jackie and I had been trying to work our schedules out forever for a trip there with the kids. Since the weather did not cooperate, we journeyed to Half Price books. The good one on Northwest Highway with the Black Forest bakery. We each selected a decadent sweet and looked amazingly fancy and a bit out of place for a drizzly Monday; packed in amongst the Mahjong groups and college students. Jackie would have greatly approved, seeing as the first time she met John, she stole some of his lemon meringue pie. She loved to act out the scene that followed, the one where John protectively wrapped his arm around his pie and threatened to defend against further attacks with his fork.
Helen wished for Hermione's time turner so we could go back, to before Jackie got sick. Lauren wished Grandaddy's best friend the watchmaker was still alive so he could create one for us. I just sat thinking about Jackie's cousin who talked about the dash. The space between birth and death and making sure you have a good dash, whether it is short or long. Jackie had an amazing dash.
We bought books because nothing goes better with cake than splurging on a My Little Pony Hardback for less than $8. Or Hoot for under $4. Or Beloved for under $6, a book recommended by the person we were eating sweets in honor of about a decade ago. I could not read it then because I was pregnant at the time and about three chapters in, I chickened out. After all, my greatest fear was Seth's reality, the death of the beloved child within me. A decade brings a lot of change, filled often with joy, sometimes with loss and hopefully a bit of wisedom. Perhaps now I can face Beloved and see it with some of your wisdom my dear friend.