Today you would have been 53. Your birthday is always a day I revel in my memories of you and the other day I remembered something you said about patience. You once said that we, the human race, had become so impatient we couldn’t wait 2 minutes for our coffee to reheat in the microwave. That’s often how I feel about seeing you. I want to be patient because I intend on living a full long life, but I’m also desperate to be close to you again. I’m pretty sure you’ll be the person waiting for me when I go. You’ll open up your arms and say “Hey George” and I’ll be a puddle of good feelings because it will have been years (God-willing it will be) but the moment you hug me I know it’ll only feel like seconds that we were apart.
Sometimes I think about you and you feel right there, like there’s a thin veil between you and me and I just can’t see you. When Kev and I talk about you we either laugh or cry about how close you feel. We’ll laugh at the morbid jokes we come up with about your death that you would deeply appreciate and we feel you laughing with us. You are missing in every good moment, but somehow you’re still there.
On your 53rd birthday I want to tell you that I’m doing well. Your death & the loss of our friendship is like a hole inside of me. The hole is painful to carry, but over time it’s grown smaller. And all around it a beautiful garden has grown. A garden of memories, laughter, new friendships, deepened relationships, self-love, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. It’s a garden that I take great solace in and one I walk through often when I miss you.
I have lost you, but I have gained so much wisdom and peace. I am fearless in ways I never was. And I am a badass because you taught me how.
Happy birthday Nancy! Tonight my toast is to you, your life, and your legacy. May I always carry you with me as I go.