Frustrated Yet Thankful

Devastated today. A dear friend lost her battle with cancer this morning. I am nauseous and exhausted from thinking about it. I’m just so sad.

There is never enough time. Nothing can prepare us. We have to face pain sometimes.

One of my strongest feelings today was frustration. I was making plans to go see my sweet friend one last time. I didn’t get that chance. Even more frustrating was realizing the world just lost a sweet, caring, gentle human being. I am frustrated that after years in a passionless marriage, she was finally free and enjoying life. Nothing too wild. She didn’t rake her husband through the coals. She wasn’t out partying. She just had peace and didn’t require much. She knew how to be a friend. I admired her grace, intelligence, sophistication, and the softness she brought into this harsh world.

Norma and I met in a divorce support group, along with our friend Chris. We are three very different people with different stories and needs. But something drew the three of us together. I think what made us work was the desire we each had to live purposely. We made an effort to get together. We shared a love of good food, wine, and laughter. We helped each other get through painful divorces by sharing our thoughts, opinions and fears. Most of all, we all listened to each other. Really listened. That is so rare these days. Personally, I find it tough to find friends who truly listen without distraction or concern for their needs only.

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Melissa, Chris and Norma. She seemed fine just 4 months ago. 

Chris and I will carry the torch now, without Norma. It won’t be a problem since he and I can talk for what seem to be endless hours until restaurants kick us out and we move on to the next place that is open later. Thank goodness for friends like that!

Still…something will be missing now. A chair will seem empty at times. Our sweet Norma with her constant smile that said, ” I love and appreciate you two so much,” won’t be there. Yet in some ways I feel it will be.

Tomorrow evening he and I will get together in honor of our dear friend. We will toast her with Argentinian wine, as she was from Argentina, and would insist that is what we do. It will feel good and give us some closure to talk about about her.

Don’t waste time today. If your heart is telling you go visit someone, drop a line, make a call….don’t hesitate. Cliche as it is, we don’t know what the future holds. Use this time on earth to love and invest in people.

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My first night out with Norma a few years ago. We went dancing which neither of us had done in MANY years. She was so shy and quiet and often told me my passion for life made her smile. I am thankful for the nights I got her out of the house and onto the dance floor. We would discuss the dating scene, and I would tell her she was far too intelligent and classy to settle for just anyone. She would blush and laugh, and say “Thank you Melissa. I love you.” I love you too Norma.