Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Our group consists of five women who write mostly non-fiction and get together every month to compare notes, and receive feedback. It's always friendly, helpful, fun and a nice gathering to look forward to every month during the day. Very relaxed.
My friend was an excellent writer. She was working on a series of travel journals that were entertaining, interesting and very well written. She's lead an interesting life and it showed in her writing.
After a while she invited me to join her book club, which I did. As it turns out we were both members of the same church and saw each other every Sunday (or whenever I actually made it - I've been a tad slack on God of late). It seemed we were destined to become friends - the world made sure of it. And I was glad for her friendship. She was warm, inviting, intelligent, funny, interesting, and just nice. She lit up a room when she entered, she was always well dressed and had a love for funky scarves, hats and loved, loved purple. She was engaging, and sweet, a wonderful mother to two girls, a devoted wife who supported her husband, moving all over the world with small children without complaint (unlike me) and just seized every opportunity that came her way. She was a lemonade from lemons kinda gal. My kind of people.
So, when I received a call last week that she was in a coma I was stunned. An undetected cyst at the base of her brain finally grew too large and blocked the flow of spinal fluid. Not being one to complain, she carried on - she did cancel for writer's group last month due to not feeling well - but she had made an appointment to check things out. It just came too late. She went to bed last week and never woke up. Her husband called an ambulance, they operated, but the damage was too severe and she passed away peacefully and unknowingly later that day. She was only 41.
I don't get it. At her funeral this past Sunday, her wonderful husband said not to ask why in his tribute to her (read by a friend). He said that we should just cherish the time we had with her and be thankful for it. While I agree I am thankful that I met her, and feel honoured to have known her, I'm still pissed and I will ask why.
My sister Tracy was only 39. This friend was only 41.Both full of life, both full or promise, both religious and good, good people. So why them? It makes me really unhappy. Yet it makes me more determined to be good to the people I still have. I try to be a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend to the people I care about because that's all that matters, really.
At her funeral I saw her husband bend his head low in grief and her nine year old daughter (also named Cate) put her arm around him to comfort him. It broke my heart in a million pieces. I wish there was more I could do.
I shall always treasure my friendship with Brenda; I gain some solace in knowing she rests in peace, cherished by the God she had such faith in.
Sorry I'm such a downer today.