Not This Mind, Not This Heart

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Tonight I had one promise I had made to myself.  Be in a fit state to have a bit of a tea party with a dear friend.  This tea party entailed having a cupcake, and watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and just buoying each other up as we go through some challenging and whack times in our lives.

I am glad that after a blah, but pleasant day putting $90 sweaters on old ladies and talking myself down from a few mild panics, I was able to do that.   And so we watched an exquisitely competent woman solve crime, escape by the skin of her teeth, and make out with every man she wanted to make out with.  It was gloriously elevating and, though it sounds as though I am being glib, I feel quite glad for it.  I’m ALWAYS glad for her friendship, but just a moment of not feeling crushed by truths and facts and panics is worth so much.

In the midst of this, I learned that a friend I’d made as a Mumford and Sons fan, a kind-hearted woman who was part of a group that traveled to see them in Bristol, VA/TN, has passed away from a long, hard-fought, and tragic fight with brain cancer.  She was one of the people who stepped up and when I asked about my charitable project and asked how I could help.

When I first met her and shared a room with her on that trip, she had yet to be diagnosed and watching from afar as she came to deal with all that her cancer would come to mean, I remember thinking of her shyness and how much it reminded me of me. How much I wished for both of us. I feel a great sense of honor for having known a woman who could endure all of it and still smile and exude love.  I am so sorry for those close to her, for the grief and loss that they are beginning to know, but I also feel the grace of her life, the war and the surrender, what is important when time is short and our desires are so infinite.  I am grateful for that in light of everything that’s going on around me, everything bashing around in my head, all of my own fears.  Surreal to think of her as someone you could say something like RIP about.  Surreal to think of her as not just waiting with us for the next album.

I slept on the couch last night, hoping to ease my neck.  As I sit here now, I think it must have worked because I’ve forgotten about it for the last five hours.  I woke up, covered in cats and with a message on my phone to get up as my mother was coming over to see the kitten.

There was this moment sitting next to my mother and sister, watching little Eleanor gambol in the sunlight and play and I didn’t think about what should be or would be or politics or money or anything.  And in that instant, I was happy.

Tomorrow, zoo.  Tomorrow, life.

Thank you, Beth.