Sunday, October 3


Mom and I visited some wonderful old friends in Coronado this past weekend. We toured Coronado, and even the Naval Base, and really enjoyed our little getaway. While getting ready to grab one last meal with our friends before heading home, I got a call from a dear old college friend of mine.

I met my friend Jan while getting my BA in Journalism. Jan remains one the most gifted Editors I've ever known. Jan worked at a successful upstart, cashed in her stock options and went to Spain to teach English as a second language. We have kept in touch over the years but don't get to see or even speak to each other much. Jan's mother, Emily, died a year ago next week. I always knew Emily as a wonderful woman who was so full of life. She taught yoga for a time and had a great outlook on life. She had been ill for a long time and finally succumbed to a cruel, painful, degenerative disease.

I was so thrilled to finally hear Jan's voice this morning. I've thought of her so much this last year. Then, when Daddy died, I wrote on email explaining what had happened. This morning we were finally able to speak for a while and the ease of our conversation reminded me why we are still such easy friends after all these years. Jan opened up and told me a bit about the last days of Emily's life. Near the end, Emily was in a lot of pain and was delirious. She was thrashing about and repeating "Done with life. Done with life." This was so very difficult for Jan and her sister as they sat trying to comfort Emily. Emily continued to repeat "Done with life, Done with life." Suddenly, Emily shifted and started repeating "On with life. On with life. Jan, where ever you are, on with life." Man, that got to me. I have often thought how Dad would say those very words to me if given the chance. I know with absolute certainty he would expect me to go on and have a wonderful life without him. I really loved Emily and hearing about her pain hurt me and hearing those words really got to me. Jan went on to tell me that those words have really changed things for her. Whenever she wants to just sleep in or stay at home she thinks of Emily's words and gets out. She says it's really given her a new perspective on life and helped her move forward.

Soon after Dad's death a friend told me to "be aware and look for signs" of Dad. He believes that our loved ones leave signs of comfort for us after they are gone but we have to look for them. I don't know if I believe that but I sure do love the idea.

I've been thinking of Emily's words and think I should probably take them to heart too. Then, out of the blue, I realized the acronym for "On With Life" is OWL. Then I freaked out. Anyone who knew Dad knows that he literally died protecting owls. Owls were a particular favorite of his. Our home is filled with pictures, sculptures and figures of owls. People worry that I now hate owls. I don't hate owls. I have told many friends "I can't hate what Daddy loved." The owls all over the house now stare at me, wide eyed, and remind me to continue "On with life, Lucy. On with life."

I'll never look at an owl the same way again.

1 comment:

kb said...

Wonderful post, my friend. It totally gave me goosebumps reading about the owls. So true!