Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day and other thoughts

I lost a good friend of thirty or more years yesterday. It wasn't unexpected--she'd been fighting for five years or more and I think she was tired. A week ago she just seemed to give up--not eating or drinking or responding. I can understand that, her fatigue, her sadness. She died surrounded by those she loved best, and I pray she is comfortable and at peace now. As I came out of a party last night, we noticed an impressive double rainbow. A friend wrote and said she was sure it was in honor of Jan, and I replied it was God welcoming her to Heaven. I like to believe that.
Beyond that loss, which leaves a hole in my heart that no one else can fill, it was a pleasant quiet weekend. My family was at the Colonial Golf Tournament (it has a better name than that but I don't remember it), and I was peacefully at home.
I rounded the corner on my work in progress. If you want to think in Shakespearean terms, I wrote the fourth act and am now a thousand words into the fifth act, the denouement. I hear in my head all the classic advice--the first draft is just a matter of getting to the end, and I believe it. But oh how relieved I am to get to that end. Now I'll go back, polish, make details fit, hopefully pick up some words because, as usual, it is short. But I have a great sense of satisfaction.
After having Jacob with me much of last week, a quiet Saturday and Sunday were welcome. I read, I did household chores, yoga, all those things I am sometimes tempted to put off. Today I fixed ham salad and a veggie assortment for lunch for a friend--who didn't show up. She phoned tonight, full of apologies, said if she doesn't look at her calendar in the morning she's lost and she didn't this morning. She's newly widowed--two weeks--and I'll forgive her almost anything. I ate my ham salad sandwich in peace at my desk. She and I will meet tomorrow at Carshon's--wonder if I should call and remind her in the morning?
Tonight's dinner guest showed up on time--my friend Mary, who calls me her big sister. The day had been sunny and lovely, in spite of rain predictions, so all the rain from last night dried up and we had a lovely supper on the deck, with perfect temperature and just the slightest breeze blowing. I made the world's best quick spaghetti sauce: sauté a small white onion and a couple of garlic cloves in a bit of olive oil; puree a can of tomatoes in the blender and add to the skillet; add one can anchovy fillets, drained and chopped. Let simmer. I made it enough ahead of time that I thought it needed help and was debating red of white wine when my friend, holding a bottle of pinot grigio, said, "Oh, just use this," and we poured in a liberal portion. Great over fettucine, with a salad I cobbled together from leftovers.
Feeling good about the world tonight--hard to do in these times--but remembering those who have fought for our country. A Rotary flag flew at the foot of my driveway all day, and I thought a lot about my father, who served in WWI (in the Canadian Army, but hey! it was on the same side). And I watched touching pictures of reunions, of graveside ceremonies, of parades on TV. We are a grateful nation, and we darn well ought to straighten up and stop squabbling amongst ourselves. That's not what those men and women died for.


Lisa Mathews said...

Very sorry for your loss, Judy. I'm sure you were right about the double rainbow.

Judy Alter said...

Thanks, LIsa