Today, Father called home my friend
One I grew up with
One I have known the longest
One that called me brother
Doesn’t He how it hurts?
Doesn’t He know we had things still to do?
Doesn’t He know the longing to hear your laugh again?
And He has called you to take the next step with your sister and father
And He has asked me to take courage and soon we will embrace again
This week I said goodbye to my friend Marie that I have known longer than any other outside of my family. She lost her battle with cancer and passed on the anniversary of her father’s death 42 years earlier. She was 52 years young. She left behind a husband, six children, two grandchildren, and a mother.
I don’t deal with death so well – not the possibility of mine or
others. Not to take anything away from the grief of her immediate
family and best friends, but it has been hard for me. I will miss her
so much. We didn’t talk that often in recent years and our paths only crossed on special occasions, but we had a relationship that went back as far as I can remember. The childhood circumstances and all the time since bonded us in a special way.
When I was growing up, she lived next door to me, along with her sister, who passed away a few years earlier (also too young), and her mother. Her father, as mentioned earlier, passed away 42 years ago. In my childhood household, we did not speak English. From my earliest memories, I would go over to this neighbor’s house and be a part of their family. I learned English there, learned about American culture there, learned a lot about life there. I was so comfortable with this family that as a five-year old, I would just walk into their house without knocking. They had to teach me to knock and wait for someone to come answer the door. I never thought of it this way while growing up, but Marie told me I was like the brother she never had. This made me feel special and this family has always been special. Now, there is only one of them left – Marie’s 92 year old mother. I am so sad that I will never chat with Marie again. I will never be able to re-live those moments of my childhood again. I will never get to laugh along with that wonderful personality again. Maybe it hurts worse because I did not take better advantage of the time we had all these years.
On top of missing Marie, I feel a chapter on my life closing. One that was opened at the start of my life. Yes, many chapters in my life have closed over the years, but this one goes a bit deeper than most. When my grandparents that raised me passed away about 20 years ago, a similar chapter was closed. This is a chapter much like that. I don’t have any more chapters quite like this. I do have the chapter of my parents and siblings, but I was not and am not as close to them in many ways. The next major chapter of my life from a duration standpoint, began with my wife and children, which started over 20 years after the chapter with Marie started.
I don’t like closing these significant chapters of my life, but I have no choice. Is this what life is all about. We close chapters and we open new ones, or hopefully we open new ones. In the future, although I dread it, my children will be moving out and starting their own lives. They will get married and start their own families. I guess I just need to learn better how to deal with these things. On the other hand, I am not ashamed at how I deal with them now. Yes, they make me sad, but things like this are supposed to make you sad. In a way, my sadness honors what they mean to me. If I were not sad, you didn’t mean much to me. So being sad and hurting is a tribute. It means I reached out, formed a friendship, and involved myself emotionally.
I don’t know what else to say on this matter. I just wanted to air my feelings. Farewell friend. I look forward to the day we meet again. I am so grateful that our lives could be intertwined together for so long; I wish it could have been a bit longer. I will miss you greatly. Your life has enriched mine and made me a better person. Your friendship has brought me joy and taught me what love means.