On My Heart

i know this month is supposed to be a “bloggy break’ but leave the real damned world to screw that all up. it has been a rough few weeks at Chez Z’Mac-ulati. Today, as I left my third visitation in a week, I joked with my family, “Another one of these things in the next month, I get a new dress. I have been through my ‘funeral’ rotation.”

That is what I do when I am in pain, or angry. I am one funny bitch. (oh that is another thing I do, curse like a sailor. ). My inner Tennessee redneck makes a huge appearance. My Spouselet threatens to record one of my monologue rants. The 18 year old encourages him. Totally beside the point.

I got home from visitation for my childhood friend. 45 is too damned young to be at the funeral home, but then again 34 would have been even worse. She was the toughest woman I know. She was also fiercely stubborn. She beat cancer twice. It was NOT going to tell HER what to do! Knocked that crap straight out of the park. She also loved baseball, married a player and her son is following his daddy’s footsteps. She was also fiercely private so, if I mentioned her by name, she would likely raise up, kick my ass and then continue on with her peacefully resting.

We lived next door to each other when we were 6ish. Once we were playing Hopscotch and she would not get off a square. she dug in her heels (I don’t even remember why) and refused to move. I couldn’t toss my rock until she did, the game was frozen. Mexican stand off. Til I beamed that rock off her head, yeah, I can be stubborn too!

In high school and college, we went our separate ways. after she got sick the second time, they moved back home to be near family and friends. One day she showed up where I was working out and we spent a few months, 3 times a week solving the worlds problems.

Friends in your 40’s are critical, but, it is also so easy to lose touch.

Someone gets a new job, someone else has a kid with growing pains, coffee’s and lunches are promised but never fulfilled. And, before you know it, you are standing in front of her laying on a bed of satin, telling her husband and her teenage son how sorry you are for their loss. Your mom and dad hold her parents as they shake their heads and tell them they have no idea the pain of losing your baby daughter (even at 45) but prayers for you all.

You see other friends from high school and say “it sucks that the only time we see each other is at the funeral home, we should get together sometime.” and know, sadly that the next time will be on another rainy Monday afternoon in front of some other spouse (and pray it isn’t the service for the person you are speaking with). You get to say “Oh, I am so glad to see you in person, outside of facebook. I hate that it is in a situation like this.”

You come home and get in bed at 7pm because you are done facing THIS day. You pray for the best friends, the brothers, fathers, husbands and sons. It doesn’t feel like enough. You hug your own people, gather them around and feel thankful and selfish at the same time.

You email your friends about the annual “first day of school celebration at starbucks” and get replies that it just won’t work this year…try for the day after, which just isn’t the same, but desperately hold on to that one thing that prevents THOSE relationships to end up like this one.

Keeping the cycle from starting again.
Saying, “I had no idea it had gotten bad again.”

This past week, I attended visitation for one of my grandfathers dearest friends, one of my daddy’s childhood buddies and my own. Each with their varying degrees of sadness, 3 generations, six days. In a small community like ours, there is a ton of relationship cross-over, 1 and 2 degrees of separation, if even that. “we have to stop meeting like this.” is cliche’, but true.

These life events always pull into sharp focus, what really matters in the world.

Your child deciding that college (and playing soccer) isn’t for them, is NOT the end of the world. Your oldest baby starts the first day of the last year of high school, middle school…kindergarden-or your child moves away at 40 or 20. it is hard, it isn’t fun, but at least they still have opportunity.

As long as we (they) are breathing, we (they) have that.
With that, I leave you to snuggle up to those who matter the most.
Call an old friend.
Send a card.

For me, back to my bloggy break…
When September comes…see you then.

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