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Posts Tagged ‘remembering my friend’

cup

This is an extremely personal post, but I wanted to share with you this morning.

For several years, hubby and I would make a trip to Indiana to visit with my best friend and her husband for a week. This was always such a fun vacation. Just spending time with the person who really “got” me made me very happy. Before she got sick, she was an early riser, and I remember waking up with two dogs piling into the bed with hubby and me, and being handed a cup of coffee. My friend and I always drank from cups with little faces on them. There were four different colors (the cup in the picture is really a darker blue than it shows) and each one had a different expression.

My friend developed breast cancer several years ago, and she had surgery, chemo, and radiation. She beat the cancer, but her health was never good after that. She was tired all the time. The last couple of times I went to Indiana, all we did was sit and play computer games together. But we both loved doing it, and we were TOGETHER.

In 2011, she fell and broke her wrist, which wasn’t a HUGE deal. But shortly after that, she started having short spells of passing out. When she went to her doctor after a longer spell, she was immediately taken to the emergency room. It turned out she had blood clots in both lungs. I remember talking to her on the phone on a Friday evening. She told me they were going to move her to a bigger hospital. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, May 1, 2011, I got a call from her husband. She had passed away.

A while after her death, I was invited to go to Indiana with her mother and sister to go through her things. The three of us, along with her husband, went through everything, and it was kind of cathartic. It brought back fond memories, and we all found things we had given her. We all took the things we wanted, things to treasure and remember her by. I was so thrilled when her husband offered me the cups we had drunk from all those years. They were our special cups.

Anyway, that’s the story behind the cups, plus a lot of other rambling I felt the need to do. What brought this all on was that I decided to drink coffee out of the blue one this morning. As the coffee poured into the cup, a flood of tears came from my eyes. After 3 1/2 years, the grief is still raw. I have these little bouts of tears from time to time. And I let it happen. I rarely cry anymore, but I allow tears for this. I remember her kindness mixed with her sarcasm. I remember her corny sense of humor and her infectious laugh. I loved her fiercely.

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Since my husband has had to work so much lately (last week he worked 7 days!), we were late getting a tree. I actually went by myself to get the tree this year. I got it Sunday, and until today, there wasn’t an ornament on it except for the one I got at the ornament party on Friday.

Hubby has always been the one to put on the lights. I’m terrible at that, so he does the lights, I do the ornaments. This year, we could only afford a small tree, not much taller than my 5’3″ (and that’s stretching it) height. I was actually able to do the lights myself, and I’m thinking I might just like having the smaller tree.

The first ornaments that went on today were a set of Mickey Mouse ornaments that used to belong to my best friend who died in May 2011. Not too long after her death, her mother, her sister, and I traveled 500 miles to help her husband sort out her things and decide what to do with them. Her family was SO generous in what they let me take, and these ornaments were part of that. I didn’t even ask for them, but her family knew that the love of all things Disney was something she and I had shared. So I got all her Disney stuff. When I put those ornaments on the tree, I felt like I was honoring her in some way. It’s a mixture of joy and sorrow. Joy because we had so many good times, so many wonderful memories. Sorrow because I miss her so very much. More than I can explain with words. I have tears as I write this.

Last year was such a whirlwind of bad stuff. I lost my father on Thanksgiving Day. I found out I had diabetes in December, on the same day of the Sandy Hook shooting. Hubby and I just decided we would buy cheap ornaments and not even try to get the good ones down. Our cats were still young enough that I thought they would destroy the tree anyway, which they really didn’t. So last year was a bust with Christmas decorations.

So this year, even though we are doing it late, I’m determined to make the most of decorating, enjoy doing it, and enjoy the results. The holidays are going to be great this year. They HAVE to be. And it’s all starting with those beautiful Mickey Mouse ornaments that remind me of a person who always had joy in her heart and mischief in her mind. I’m thinking of you, my friend who resides in Paradise. I know you laugh at me every day for the silly things I do. I miss your sarcasm, your unrestrained laugh, and your kind soul. You are always in my heart.

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