This is a week of loss. And I’m very sad.
A few days ago, my dear friend of 56 years lost her mother. Her mother was a very important part of my life from the age of four on. I truly loved Mrs. Orr. I spent a lot of time with her. She was a lovely person who made me laugh and cared for me and fed me Italian food and gave me my first hair cut. She was widowed at a young age and she fiercely and lovingly raised her two daughters on her own. Her daughter Jackie is my oldest friend. I was in her wedding. Last night, I called Jackie and we shared memories of her mom and of our adventures and of the laughter we all shared together. Because that’s what I remember the most – laughing until tears rolled down our faces. Jackie and I have the kind of friendship that is strong and rooted and that is not dependent on daily phone calls, or physically seeing each other. It’s just there. Always.
Mrs. Orr lived a long and full life. For that, I am very grateful. It doesn’t make her passing any easier, however.
This morning I was trying to cobble together a post, when I received an email from another childhood friend who I’ve known since first grade. I’ve written about Debbie before. She has been battling cancer for many years now, with grace and dignity, rooted in a strong faith. She lost her mother (who was my Girl Scout troupe leader) to cancer many years ago. Her sister Karen died three years ago from cancer. In the course of her own treatment, she reconnected with our high school pal, Corinne. Corinne was also battling cancer. They formed a bond and helped each other through the rough times.
I also reconnected with Corinne on Facebook. And then she started reading this blog. She wrote beautiful emails to me about my writing and my life and the many things we shared in common and her battle with cancer, and then she learned how to leave a comment here on the blog and I was so happy to have her back in my life – this adult life, so many years after we graduated from high school.
She died last night.
It was shocking and unexpected. She had some complications and an infection started and, suddenly, it was over.
I am shocked and saddened and angry at what cancer has done to so many beloved people in my life.
Suddenly the post I had been working on lost its appeal. I am in mourning this week for dear ones who are no longer with us. I am filled with sadness for those who are left behind; left to grieve the loss of a parent, a grandmother, a wife.
Rest in peace, Corinne. Rest in peace, Mrs. Orr. I am blessed to have known you. You were everything that is good and honest and true. Thank you for being in my life.