My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time

I’ll Love You Long After You’re Gone

Less than 48 hours ago, I lost a very dear friend and surrogate mother. She passed away after a long battle with lung problems.  She was only 65.  So when nothing makes sense and I don’t know what to do, I write.  Sometimes it is only then that I know what I needed to say.

 

Me and Sandy at Stella's in Ithaca, NY

Me and Sandy at Stella’s in Ithaca, NY

 

I met Sandy when my family lived 2 doors down from her. She was pregnant with her son, Danny, when my mom was pregnant with my sister, C.J.  She had 2 dogs, Mocha and Katie, whom I adored.  I would even walk around the green belt with her as she picked up dog poop because I found every chance I had to be with her to be enjoyable.  I babysat Danny and watched him grow up.  He might as well be my brother for how much I love him like one.

Me and Danny walking to Uris Library, AKA the Harry Potter library, on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY.

Me and Danny walking to Uris Library, AKA the Harry Potter library, on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY.

 

Sandy and I were very close. In fact, she was the one I traveled with to Ithaca, NY last year for her son’s graduation.  Our first and only trip together.  Those memories I will hold close to my heart.  I even journaled about everything that happened on that trip while we were there.  I chronicled even the piddly little details of the journey, thinking Why I am writing all of these stupid things down? No one cares.  How wrong I was!  I was able to break out my journal over the last several weeks and re-live those memories with Sandy all over again.

 

I spent some decent chunks of time with Sandy over the last 3 weeks or so. I brought her food and lattes, sat with her and filled her in on the details of my life at the moment, and read to her from my journal all of the things that I needed to say again.  It brought such joy to me, and to her, to re-read all of the things we did and the places we went when we were in Ithaca.  We had philosophical conversations at a place called the Boat Yard about life, having kids, and the importance of weeding one’s garden of life to make room for new growth.  We laughed and cried as I read to her, and I shared some new writing that I’ve been doing as part of the exercises from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  I was able to pour my heart and soul out to her these last few weeks with my writing, and I’ve sent her numerous cards and letters over the years expressing my love for her.  It is because of her that I will pursue becoming a bestselling author with even more invigoration, as it will be a way to honor her.

 

Sandy and Danny were both in my wedding. I wouldn't have done it without them! May 28, 2005

Sandy and Danny were both in my wedding. I wouldn’t have done it without them! May 28, 2005

 

If you have things you need to say to people, forgiveness you need to make happen, apologies you need to give, please do it.  There is no better place to do so than in the present moment.  Life is too short.  If I learned one thing from Sandy, it would be this:

 

Fling open wide the gates of your heart.  If you are struggling with something in your life (like hyperhidrosis, for example), I implore you to be vulnerable and ask for help.  For it is only there where true connection can happen.  Look around you for the “helpers” in your life.  They are there, waiting to be of service to you.   It’s okay to not always have everything together.  That’s what friends and family do.  Help hold you up when you can’t do it yourself.  Allow yourself to love and to be loved.  That is what life is all about.

 

Yesterday I came home early from work.  I grabbed my two journals and a couple of InkJoy 700 RT pens (they are the best I’ve found for my slanted, furiously fast journal writing) and found a park with a nice tree to write and cry under.  While I was sitting in the dirt connecting to my roots, a breeze suddenly blew over me.  It had a sound, a Shhhh sound, like Sandy was speaking through the wind and letting me know it was okay now.  I also saw a robin on 3 separate occasions that afternoon. I’m not sure if Sandy had an affinity for robins in particular, but I know she likes birds like I do, so I think that was her, too.

 

Writing under a tree in an attempt to make sense of such a great loss.

Writing under a tree in an attempt to make sense of such a great loss.

 

When I got home from journaling, it started raining.  I sat on the (finally) green grass in my backyard and turned my face up toward the drops, letting them mix with my tears into the larger universe.  As I closed my eyes, they were flooded with bright red light—Sandy’s love.  When the rain stopped, I noticed my tears had, too.

 

Later that night, I went through the drive thru at McDonald’s in an attempt to comfort myself.  I’ve had many happy memories over Happy Meals, so I figured it might help.  My total was $7.12, which is Danny’s birthday.  Here’s the song that was playing on the radio at that time:

 

The song playing on the radio yesterday.

The song playing on the radio yesterday.

 

So today I am sitting at home in my dorky sweatpants with the moose on them that I bought with her during a trip to Estes Park, staring at the tree pictures she bought for me at the Arts Picnic, and weeping over her departure. Sandy’s roots have been upturned and replanted in Heaven; I have my own personal angel in the sky now, whose roots are being pumped full of the cleanest, purest air.   She can breathe without fear now.  And for that, I am grateful.

Video: Gone Gone Gone by Phillip Phillips

 

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19 Comments

  1. You know – I just realized. I saw a robin yesterday. Just hanging out by my tree in my backyard. It didn’t even waiver or fly away when I let my puppies out. I’d like to think that perhaps so – it could’ve been her. Thanks so much sharing this piece of your heart for all of us. I’ll look forward to your book.

  2. What a beautiful writing. Thanks for opening up and sharing your heart. I can see that God is providing a glimpse of the comfort and peace that you need. I hope to be one of your helpers.

  3. Barb Roessig

    May 1, 2013 at 0:00

    Maria you have an awesome way of expressing the beauty of a life well-lived. Thanks for the insights of God’s tender mercies. Sandy will be with you as you continue on with your ultimate goal. I’d love to be one of your helpers too.

  4. This was a very comforting and open hearted for all to read. I was able to feel your sorrow, joy and cherished times you shared with Sandy. May her spirit be with you in thought and guidance. The memories will always be close to heart.

  5. Laura Myers

    May 1, 2013 at 0:00

    My name is Laura Myers. You do not know me but your Mom does as I had the honor of meeting Sandy’s bestest friend at Danny’s graduation party and she and Sandy stopped by my daughter’s graduation party a couple of years later. My son Zach and Danny were friends in High School. My heart is broken as I did not know. I am so very sorry, I loved her. What an amazing happy woman she was! Her greatest joy was the people she loved and that loved her. Prayers!

    • Thank you Laura for the kind words and for taking the time to read my tribute to Sandy. It is one more chance to keep her memory alive each time someone reads this.

  6. Feeling for you Maria! Your post was so touching. I didn’t know Sandy but the I can relate to the friendship you write about. Let me know if you need anything, Enza .

  7. I am very sorry for your loss, Maria. What a beautiful friendship you both shared.

  8. Maria,

    Your words are so thoughtful and inspirational. You have such a wonderful, caring soul. I am truly sorry for your loss of such an amazing person in your life.

  9. Dear, dear Maria……..this piece is absolutely beautiful and such a tribute to Sandy. I have no doubt she is smiling (and shedding joy-full tears) just watching you sit under a tree to write it, then reading the finished product. She always spoke of your gift of being an extremely talented creative writer. I believe writing this particular piece is only the beginning of the unequivocably precious way you will truly honor our Sandy!

  10. I’m so sorry for your loss, but may I just say that you are a wonderful writer, and you’ve captured the profound feeling of loss so well. I could really relate to each part of the story. You have a beautiful friendship, and I’m glad you wrote about it, both then and now.

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