My best friend lost her father yesterday.
Unfortunately, he had been in ill health for quite some time. He was in home hospice, to spend his final days with those he loved the most. His family.
Jack was the definition of “family man.” He and his late wife Eileen built a beautiful life. A warm, welcoming home filled with 9 children, my bestie was the youngest, a multitude of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He had an unwavering love and pride in each and everyone of them.I remember when I first met him, he was so boisterous and outgoing I was almost taken aback. Now don’t get me wrong, I am outgoing, I just wasn’t used to it in parents. Mine were quietly compassionate at first. Not Jack, he had immediate boundless energy and smiles to spare.
He opened the front door to welcome you into his home and his heart.
I wasn’t used to the hugs and constant storytelling. Every time I was in Liz’s house, Jack would tell us stories or jokes.
Oh my word, his JOKES. At 17, the jokes were corny as hell and Liz and I quickly made exits after one of Jack’s jokes. Sitting in her Camaro, we would drive away from the house and immerse ourselves in our own activities, clothes shopping and club hopping.
Now they’re precious memories.
We were loved and cared for.
Jack was there.
Liz was my rock when Anthony died. She and I spent hours texting (anyone who knows me knows I hate talking on phone). She comforted me during the dark days and lighter nights. Just knowing I could reach out with a “hey…” Meant the world to me.
We have always had one of those unique friendships where you can go for months without speaking to the other, and it’s like nothing has changed when you are back together.As teens, we were inseparable. As adults, we lead very separate lives.
However, special occasions, we were there – together. My boys know her as Aunt Liz, her daughter calls me Mommy.
As I sit here on the bus now, drafting this post, I wonder how Liz is feeling right now.
I can’t say “I know how she feels.”
Every one of us has a uniquely profound grief experience.
I know how I feel – the extra tears that well up inside me. The hugs I want to give to my best friend and her family. I know I wish I could take away some of the pain she must be experiencing.
Like me, she must travel her own grief path. Take her own trip through the Theme Park.
I will be there to hold her hand, text, and even back off my no-phone call preference to give her whatever she needs from me to help her cope. I am here.
Even if it’s silence.
Meet you at the Carousel Liz. When you’re ready.