Someone who once held a very special place in my heart died a few days ago. We were once the closest of friends, as close as sisters. But betrayal and circumstances showed me a very different side to her, and I let the relationship go. For years I felt anger and resentment, and eventually I felt nothing at all. To be honest, I hadn’t really even thought about her in quite some time. So when I heard the news I was a bit stunned. She was in her late fifties, and had always been the life of the party. But cancer took that life. I felt a bit sad for her family, and maybe a bit of regret that our friendship was never healed. More than anything, though, I still felt nothing.
Her death did give me pause about my own mortality. When you’re in your 40s and people start to pass away on a regular basis, you always stop to think about how many days you have left on this beautiful crazy planet. I hope to have many many days, but we all know there are no guarantees. Tomorrow is promised to none of us. I’ve always said “life is short, order the cheesecake” and I often joke with Bill, telling him if I die he should have me stuffed so he can prop me up in a corner, dressed to the nines with a martini in hand, wearing all of my jewelry and, of course, a really great pair of shoes.
I’m not afraid to die. Watching my father die right before my eyes cured that fear in me. While his death was gut-wrenching and incredibly emotional in ways I never even imagined, the one thing it was not was scary. He simply slipped away, surrounded by the love of my mom, my three siblings and me. His passing changed the way I would look at death from that moment on. But still, when someone moves from the world of the living to the world of the dead, you take a moment to reflect. I worry about my family, my menagerie of animals, but mostly about my Bill and my daughter, Tricia.
I would hate for any of them to cry-- to me that would go against everything I have stood for, and how I have lived my life every single day. I want them to celebrate my life, and the fact that I lived every day on my own terms with no excuses and no regrets. I want the wine to flow and I want the music to be loud. And I want there to be laughter, lots and lots of laughter – the kind that makes your sides hurt, and tears run down your face. Hell, I hope they bring in a comedian for the occasion just so they can roast me like Pamela Anderson. I'm absolutely sure I've provided enough material during my 45 years so far on this earth, and there is bound to be more in the future. I want the people I love to be happy that we had such wonderful times together, and I want that happiness to live forever in their hearts.
I won’t be going to Patricia’s funeral tomorrow. To do that would make me feel like a hypocrite, given the way our relationship ended. But I will have a cocktail in her honor when I’m out this weekend...probably a vodka on the rocks in a snifter glass, since that is what she always drank. Wherever she is, I’m sure she will notice and comment about what a lucky bitch I am that I’m able to enjoy that cocktail.
Safe travels to you Patricia. Cheers.