Today I am missing her. It is her birthday and I will always think of her on Boxing Day. She would have been 39. When she visits me in my dreams, she is the girl I knew and loved before her illness ravaged her healthy body. Her hair flows, her stance is strong and athletic, skin golden, voice assertive but girlish sweet.
I can't help but think of the phone call I received from her. The "what-if" phone call that filled the air with such worry and fear. The futile attempt I made to conceal my own fears for her. Did I offer her any ounce of comfort when she reached out to me? Our fears became reality hours later when the doctor delivered the news to her. She would suffer the same fate as her mother who left her when she was nineteen year young. Much too young to have to navigate life without a mother, but she did. She fared well and made a good life for herself.
College student. Athlete. Dancer. Dedicated employee. Highschool sweetheart romance and marriage. Young and vibrant mom to three beautiful children. I was elected to be one of her labour coaches and witnessed the birth of her firstborn child. She made childbirth seem like a sinch and soon after delivery, she was walking around like she was ready for the volleyball court! An entrepreneur at heart, she followed her passion and created a huge beach volleyball league in Hamilton. She went from pulling together a few teams to quench her love for volleyball and played all summer long! Eventually, she couldn't keep up with over 400 members, sourcing help from friends to keep beach volleyball alive on the Hamilton beachstrip!
A simulataneous grin came upon my face as my thoughts danced back and forth to the sweetest memories I have of her. The very first time we met- 14. She was a rebellious teenager with a look of innocence to her. A crinkled nose when she laughed. The curliest hair. Ever. She looked like an older version of Shirley Temple. A giggle that resembled cookie monster and it could make you laugh for hours. In fact, I laughed the same way in her presence and were mocked about it. A feist in her that could stand up to anyone and I was the friend who provided the voice of reason. She actually listened to me when she wouldn't to most. We spent many long beautiful summers together. We ran the camp store and offered dancing lessons to those smaller kids who thought we had the moves! We delighted in their idolizations of us.
I wish we had more time on this earth together to grow into really old friends but my heart feels happy to know these memories will reside with me forever.
Peace to you Boxing Day Baby-- Leah. I miss our giggle fests. xoxoxo
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I am glad to be a person who is fuelled by human relationships. I am glad to wear my heart on my sleeve and keep it real. I am glad to have a collection of friends from different generations, cultures and interests. I am glad to be afforded a home-life where things are kept simple but always feel abundant. I am glad to have a rich relationship with my Grandmother. I am glad to love deeply and feel my heart swell when something is touching. I am glad to eat veggies and actually enjoy them! I am glad I have fallen hard a few times because it keeps me grounded. I am glad to have known what it means to be poor because I now know how to stretch a dollar even when I don't have to. I am glad to have dreams that are far enough out of reach to keep me motivated. I am glad to know how to soothe someone's heart. I am glad to be warm on a cold winter's night. I am glad to be a girl in a woman's body so I can enjoy the perfect balance between naivety and wisdom. I am glad to have had a few strict teachers who challenged me. I am glad I have been told off by a few people. I am glad to have gotten the last word in with some others. I am glad to possess strong intuition and have learned to trust my gut more. I am glad to have a husband who still gives me butterflies when we exchange glances-- most times. I am glad to be more selective with my company because time is precious! I am glad I am outraged by litter bugs and bullies. I am glad to have birthed two beautiful babies. I am glad to fear less and believe more. I am glad to be moved to tears by beautiful music. I am glad to have dipped my toes in the ocean. I am glad to have held a stranger's hand. I am glad to savour a sweet, long kiss. I am glad to have shared this moment with you.