Late Tuesday morning I found out that a friend of mine from years ago passed away. I was stunned. She simply didn’t wake up that morning. She was 37 years old and was the mother of five children; the youngest one, a year old. My friend’s name was Marcia.
All week I have ebbed back and forth between heartbreak and treasured memories. I have grieved from a distance, scrolling through her newsfeed and reading all the condolences and comforting words to her family. I ache in my heart for her children and family and am filled with regret that the two of us never got together in all these recent years to catch up. And today, I went to her funeral.
The truth that we are not promised tomorrow has revealed itself anew. We all know it, but when we are forced to see it and to acknowledge it’s authority over us, that heavy reality gives us a blow and a dose of perspective that leaves a painful mark.
I was always impressed by Marcia’s creativity, intelligence and CLASS. She was a classy girl. You might not see it on the outside, but her ability to live in her humble and modest circumstances like she was living in abundance and affluence inspired me try and do the same. She could decorate pure junk and make it look fabulous. She was a reader. I remember her loving the book Redeeming Love, which I have read, but Autumn remembers Marcia loving The Pilgrims Progress. She was a cook, and she loved going to shows.
One of my favorite memories of Marcia is when we went to a ballet production of Handel’s Messiah. She knew she liked stage productions but had never seen a ballet. I told her how much I loved ballet so she and I and Autumn all went. The next day she called me on the phone, laughing, and said, “Guess what we did??” And I said, “What?” She said, “We left during intermission!! Look at your program! We thought it was over but it was only intermission!!” Of course we were embarrassed and laughing over the matter, but not too embarrassed for me to call the theater, explain our mistake and ask if there was any way we could see another showing. The answer was yes.
Another favorite memory is when she wanted to cook dinner for a few friends and watch a movie. We watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding because at the time, that was her very favorite movie. She cooked Fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli and chicken but the best part was the tiramisu that she made from scratch. She made it from the Better Holmes and Gardens Cookbook. I think it took her maybe two days to make it because she also made the Hot Milk Sponge Cake that the recipe called for. It was beautiful and scrumptious. I always think of her when I see or have tiramisu.
I will mourn Marcia’s loss and mourn that we lost contact for several years. I will try to focus again on living my best life here, regardless of my financial circumstances. I will make that tiramisu, and share it with some dear friends that I can still touch and talk to. And maybe, sometime, I’ll read The Pilgrim’s Progress too.