It’s been just over a week. I have felt every second, yet recall most of it as a blur. I feel something other than sad— Devastated? No, not quite. I don’t think there is a word for losing a friend in body and knowing this is how it will be for the rest of your waking days. As Marlene would say, I have “ugly cried,” I have wept, I have been silent, I have been brave, weak, tired, restless, terrified, peaceful, and tearful all over again.
In recent years, I was lucky if I saw Marlene more than once a year (and some years, I was that lucky 😉 But, we witnessed each other nearly everyday, sometimes via phone calls late at night. She’d be up working tirelessly touching and retouching photos for a client. Those phone calls only ended as one of us would start to make less and less sense because the morning was upon us; via gchats randomly throughout the day, some that made us guffaw and snortle with laughter. My goodness how we laughed until I had to beg her to cut it out because my cheeks hurt. Apparently, she was the remedy for my out-of-shape laughter muscles.
Our exchanges became integral to my daily life. We challenged each other. Walked each other through trials with tough love and that truth we sometimes didn’t want to hear. No matter the content of our conversations, we always knew every word was composing something much more eternal than mere chatter. We had been building sisterhood, constantly reminding each other of the magic and powers of such a thing. She taught me so much about friendship—things I thought I knew, but hadn’t quite mastered and still haven’t. We were constantly growing each other up and making the other a little less silly. But man, we were so silly after we got through the tough stuff, whatever that may have been at the time.
Tomorrow, I and the masses of people she touched with her big heart, quick wit, and breadth of talents will say ‘goodbye’ to her. I just cannot think of how I can. I know she will never call me again. Her name will never pop up on my g-chat screen. She will never post “I love you, Sis” followed by a slew of hearts on my FB page. She will never drop into town and opt for the couch, a glass of Malibu and pineapple, and endless talk. I know this, yet I still just cannot imagine it.
She posted the following picture on my page this year with the caption “Wish you were here.”
Tonight, she just doesn’t know what I would give to hear her laugh again.
There is just something special about the family we choose.
I miss you, Sis, and will love you always ❤