I've been thinking about my friend Becky this week, partly because I always think about her, but mostly because her second daughter, the lovely and talented Alexandra ANN, is getting married tomorrow.
Here's the deal. When Becky was alive we talked almost every single day, and so we both had the sense that we lived doubly--I had my own life and I had her life, too. She felt the same about me and mine, as well. So when she died, I lost my friend AND I lost my second life. There were parts of myself that shut down that day, and frankly I've just never recovered them, although in my own defense, I have tried.
I can't help but think how frustrated Becky would be with me about this state of affairs. She and I were alike in many ways, but there were differences, and one of them is that Becky had a talent for inhabiting the present with a fierce, delighted energy. When I spoke at her funeral, I quoted C.S. Lewis who said his mother was one of those people who took to happiness the way some people always find the best seat on the train. I, on the other hand, am always looking for ways to keep my past alive, to make it present long after I should let a thing go. I can practically hear Becky scold me. ANN! DARLIN'! I LOVE YOU BUT YOU GOTTA MOVE ON, BECAUSE I HAVE.
On the other hand, she would be thrilled with her girls who are beautiful and smart and emotionally healthy and very much engaged with the present. They are truly their mother's daughters. Awesome cannot begin to describe them. And their father, too. I do love them all dearly.