you are in my head this morning gracie.
i should be running around, scurrying, lately i am like a leaf blowing in the wind, or better yet, a cat chasing my tail, never quite getting it, always a step behind, but stubborn and determined and convinced that if i just move a little faster i will catch it, i will catch up and finally climb to the top of the mountain of work in front of me, and get to the other side of it.
i should be running, but i am frozen, jarred by an early morning phone call, the sound of my mother's voice still echoing in my head as she struggled to find the words to tell me that your light is fading ever-so-quickly. she already feels gone darl, there is no life left in her. and me wanting so desperately to somehow crawl through the phone line and wrap my arms around my mother, hold her, be strong for her so that she can let go of all she holds so tight inside, and let in, finally, her heartache. how strange, my mother, near 70, experiencing the loss of a friend for the first time in her life, how strange, her daughter, well-versed in such losses, consoling and comforting her, i understand this grief mom. i have been inside this dark place before, i remember well the sting, the breaking of your soul in two, the strange feeling of heaviness and emptiness happening at exactly the same painful moment.
your light is fading away, gracie, and i am so sad to let you go, i am so completely and utterly heartbroken. our world will be less bright, less colorful, less beautiful, without your presence in it. it is almost unimaginable, and yet, we must begin to learn to live without you.
and so i will find my own way through today, i will smile and inspire, i will do the work that must be done. and i will hide my own heaviness, i will ignore my own emptiness, i will wear the mask necessary to see this day to its end. but my every thought will be in shapleigh, i will be holding you and my mother close in my heart, i will wish and i will pray that you are sleeping peaceful, that you are dreaming of your sons and your grandchildren and the tall birch trees in shapleigh and the night sky filled with the same stars we looked at together so many times, your hand always clasping mine, when i was a just a little girl.