Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Ode To Josette and Frank

I must admit that as much as I love writing, I have been consciously avoiding creating a blog post for what seems like several weeks. The last time I wrote it was in honor of my mentor Debbie Ford, who made her transition February 17th. Since that time I have learned of the deaths of two more friends, in addition to a couple of fond acquaintances. I watch my mind tell me that I can’t continue to write about death, even as my heart wants nothing more than to honor and give voice to the love I feel for those who are no longer here.

As I attended the funeral of my friend Josette I heard an eloquent speaker say that she had really loved our mutual friend. There is nothing past tense about my love for her. Her body is indeed gone but our love is just as clear and vital and intimate as it was during our last embrace. I was to meet with her the day she passed away, a fact that makes the vacancy all the more profound. She left an indelible mark on the world and in my heart. Her civic and environmental contributions will touch generations to come.

My friend Frank left a subtler impress upon the world, but none-the-less significant. He took up ball room dancing in his eighties, and waltzed his way into countless hearts. His courage and tenacity after losing the love of his life was beyond inspirational. He danced until he could dance no longer, and now he is gone.

Both of these friends were humble beings that didn’t speak much, yet their quiet ways spoke volumes. They had no need to be the center of attention, even when they were front and center. They carried a dignity and grace that made them so very attractive. When either of them looked at me I felt seen. That is a rare and precious commodity.

My friends Frank and Josette were both gone before I had a chance to say goodbye. They both leave behind an ache in my heart, yet also a deep knowing that our love will go on. Our friendships will continue as long as I remain alive. I will remember them and in those remembrances they will live again in me. Their departures have taught me not to put off getting together while we still have the chance. Not to delay saying all that you want to say. I know more profoundly that I cannot be too busy for love, and I am re-prioritizing how I schedule my days. I am blessed to have so many loves, on both sides of the veil. Each one is precious beyond words. Each one has made such a contribution to my life, and I am better because they have lived and we have loved.

So as I write I feel Frank on one side and Josette on the other. They will always be with me, though I long to look into their eyes one more time. I thank them both for what they were and what they currently are. My heart is full even if my eyes are moist. I am richly blessed to have two more angels on my team.

I love you Frank. Dance on. And now you dance with Arlyne.

I love you Josette. I am planting a tree for you and know you hover above it quietly coaxing “grow.”