Roller Coasters

It was my grandmother’s birthday on Monday. She died in April. It feels weird to “celebrate” her life when she is no longer alive. It feels stranger to not acknowledge it at all. I spent some of the day crying and some of the day laughing thinking about her. A friend asked what was the one thing I wished I could have that I didn’t have on her birthday besides her. I said, I wished I could send her flowers again this year. Last year she kept forgetting that she had already thanked me and called me three times. I want that back. I thought about posting the story of her engagement. It is my favorite story of the many she told me. But it needs to be edited and it was too painful for me to do on Monday. 

Wednesday I had a great business meeting. It gave me a huge high. It made me feel like she was watching from above and cheering me on. I felt like I could rule the world. I was ready to take on any new challenges. I felt her spirit and love of life surrounding me. 

Thursday I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t sleep until it was time to get up. I didn’t feel like getting dressed. I forced myself to make a cup of coffee. To make a list for what I wanted to get done. Then a list for what I needed to get done. I worked on creating connections. I did another business call that went ok. I cried. I didn’t laugh. 

Friday is my birthday. I have plans for dinner with my sister but I haven’t really talked about it with anyone else. A couple of friends have asked, I’ve responded but not with any real enthusiasm. I love other people’s birthdays. I think it is a day that everyone should be celebrated. I plan things for many of them. And yet on mine, I feel sort of blasé. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the celebration of life. Not surprising with so much death in my life this year. Not surprising with my birthday coming up. I have come to the following conclusion. 

Life is like roller coasters. Big climbs. Jerks around many corners. And scary drops. But if your smart, you raise your hands in the air and scream and laugh through them all because it’s the best damn ride in the park. 

Lost and Found

I lost a friend this weekend. Lost is such a strange word for death. It is not like I don’t know where to find her, I do. She died. She died crossing the street trying to be safe and catching an Uber instead of a DUI. Life and death are funny that way. About the time you think you have it figured out, life will hit you with something else.

I have been thinking a lot about what I would say to her if I could have one more conversation. We were not in a good place. Hadn’t actually spoken to each other in years. Had a falling out about something that was not important. I remember hearing once that if something is bothering you, think about if it would still bother you in five years. If so, then work on fixing it. If not, then let it go.

I call it the five-year rule. Then again I used to call my dating range the five-year rule as well – no one over or under 5 years of my age, that hasn’t totally worked either. But with this five-year rule in mind, I have tried to remember one thing from five years ago that still upsets me today and the only ones I can come up with our relationships I have ‘lost’. Back to that word again, the one that doesn’t accurately describe how I feel. It is not like I don’t know how or why I no longer have that friendship or relationship. But I did lose that friend or lover. I no longer have them in my world and some of them I would like to still have at least in my orbit.

I looked up the definition of lost and it has several meanings but here are the top two. Lost defined as unable to find one’s way; not knowing one’s whereabouts. I have been lost too many times to count. Still looking for a really good GPS or road map for life. If you have one, let me know. Or lost defined as denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered. I guess death would be the second definition. We can’t always get back what has been taken away. We lose our youth. We lose jobs. We lose drive and sometimes inspiration. And sometimes we lose ourselves. But the unexpected loss of people can feel like the worst thing we lose. What would I say to my friend that I ‘lost’ so unexpectedly? I would tell her that I miss her laugh, her stories, her advice. Most of all I miss just hanging out with her and a glass of wine laughing about those things we have lost and found.

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