A friend waits the arrival of his baby, his first child. I can imagine the thoughts, the nervousness – holy shit! holy shit! – the wringing excitement. Next week, life, as he knows it, will be transformed. Thirteen years from now, he will attend his child’s Bat Mitzvah, then how many years to high school, then college graduation, then wedding, life’s milestones, one after another.
Few months ago, I received an email for a memorial service for a dear dear friend. Memorial Service? I knew she’d been in the hospital, but memorial service? Holy shit, Leslie, holy shit, I lost you and I didn’t even know you were leaving. Holy shit.
I spent that night looking at her photos on Facebook, hundreds of them, posted by so many people, many fans who’d never met her in person – she was a writer – sometimes feeling tears, remembering her laugh, how full it was. “Oh Lord,” she’d say, laughing, removing her glasses to wipe her eyes, “from your mouth to God’s ears,” she’d say when we’d be driving in her car on a cold winter evening in Philadelphia and I’d tell her that her novels should be turned into movies.
One birth. Another. Laughter, joy, celebrations. One death. Another passing. Tears, sadness. A life that was. A life that will be.
I miss you, Leslie.
For the little time we walked together on this spinning ball, Leslie, I am grateful. For the meals we shared, for the laughter, for the hopes and dreams, for the manuscripts we edited, for all that you were in your beautiful powerful womanly self, I am grateful.
Your path on this plane ended. I miss you, Leslie. Where your light continued on to, I do not know. But I know this – your path touched mine and now I carry a piece of you with me. And so when I look at your photos and get sad, I remember that you’re with me, with all of us who ever met you, and I smile.