A friend of mine died yesterday morning. She was 32 years old.
Last May, she sent out an e-mail telling us she had a rare form of liver cancer. Something that usually affects older people with a history of drinking and smoking. This woman was one of the healthiest, greatest athletes I’ve ever known. Sometimes life just makes no sense at all.
I happened to go out to San Francisco around the time she had a major surgery to remove her tumor, and saw her in the hospital with two other high school friends. It was so surreal sitting there in her room–she in a hospital bed and blue gown, a spectacular view of Golden Gate Park, the bridge, the blue bay–four high school friends from Minnesota there in San Francisco.
We walked around the hallway, compared notes about having Canadian husbands and talked about the future. It was the conversation I would have with any old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. It was the last time I saw her.
I had a restless sleep last night. Dreams so intense they felt like being awake. When the alarm did go off, I couldn’t stop thinking: I can’t believe she’s not waking up to the world today. I can’t believe she didn’t brush her teeth, snuggle up next to her husband under the covers and kiss him goodnight. How can this day look like every other day?
I’m overwhelmed by how quickly things can change. I keep thinking about the things we don’t know about our future. And that all we can do is hold who and what we care about as close as we can and just love and love and love.
The other day, I stumbled onto this moving video of an interview between Terry Gross and Maurice Sendak. He says,
“I am in love with the world…
It is a blessing to read the books and listen to the music…
Live your life, live your life, live your life.”
It made me realize that I too am hopelessly, shamelessly in love with the world. It confuses me and astounds me–is it so unfair and random and beautiful–it inspires me, disappoints me, makes me sad and blissed out and angry and it fills me to the brim with wonder.
My dear friends, I want to say with all my heart- thank you for reading my little blog. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. Let’s go read the books and listen to the music.
P.S. This is a title I’m trying out. What do you think? This is a temporary re-design. I hope it will be prettier some day.