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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Of Love and Loss and Moving On

This is a re-post, from my now-defunct blog, Life, Dreams, and a Turtle, from January 2013.

In October of 2012, one of my best friends, Laura Curtis, passed away. The loss was sudden, and I was the one who got the call- I was the last person on her phone, and the person the State Troopers contacted in an effort to locate her next-of-kin.

Devastation has no words for this kind of loss. I miss her, and my sister, who passed suddenly just two years later, in August, every single day.

For those who never visited Life, Dreams, and a Turtle, Kame (pronounced Kah-may), is my Eastern Box Turtle.

My notes in church are often less.... lyrical, than you might think.
 Kame has once again slipped into hibernation mode. His torpor means that he disappears for days at a time, emerging only occasionally to explore the offerings of fresh raspberries and take a short dip in his bathing tub, before disappearing beneath the mulch once again. He deals with winter by avoiding it entirely, passing it half-asleep and hidden.

Not for the first time, I find myself envying my shelled friend's ability to sleep through the less pleasant months of the season. I, too, have been hibernating, in a way. I've been avoiding speaking out about many of the emotions rolling through my days as I move forward, because so many of them have to do with other people, and I have vowed that this blog will be about my own life, and not a clearinghouse of gossip about others.
It might not be possible for me to blog without mentioning what's going on in my ex's world, or in my children's, but I'm trying not to air anyone's laundry but my own.

So much has happened since I last wrote. October brought with it a shocking blow with the loss of a very old and dear friend. Laura Kim Eisele Curtis was one of the best friends I've had. She put up with my ramblings, my oddities, my failures and my quirks. She made me laugh. She made me less ashamed of my PTSD symptoms and helped me see it as a condition to be managed, rather than a weakness. She stood beside me as I walked through some of the most difficult times in my life, and she allowed me to be a part of her life as she dealt with her own losses, blows and failures. Her passing was devastating, and a loss to the world, though most will never know what they missed by not knowing her.

My beautiful friend Laura, with her dad, Don, being a goof in the background. She had a quirky sense of humor that she came by honestly.

There are many things that Laura shared with me that I will take to my grave, but I can tell you a few things about my dear friend. She was a great singer and an amazing mom. I will forever hear her voice singing "You Are My Sunshine" to her daughter over the phone at bed time on the occasions she stayed at my home. There is surely no sound more beautiful in the world. She was a good friend. I can't count the times she listened to me and let me run on. She gave me good advice. She was the one who encouraged *cough*dragged*cough* me into seeking out a college degree. She has been my friend, my support, and my confidant for well over ten years... and now she's gone. Just like that, in one dark night, she left this world and traveled beyond the veil.
And even now, she is with me. 

I could hear her beside me, snickering, at her final service, as the Pastor's voice rose in song. He had a lovely voice, but Laura often attended my son's guitar lessons with me, and we had sat, barely containing school-girl giggles, through many voice-student's renditions of "New York, New York". Since her parents live near the Big City, and my favorite fictional heroes are rumored to occupy its sewer system, the song made us giggle all the more. I could feel her arms around my shoulders, even as I cried. I could hear her voice in my dreams, in the wretched days after her passing, laughing and exclaiming, "but Mary, I'm here with MacKenzie! I'm dancing... I don't hurt anymore..."

Her baby daughter who succumbed to SIDS was waiting for her, I know. And although she has left two other beautiful young women behind, I know the joy of that reunion will be complete when we all come together in Eternity's time. Laura knows no grief now, no pain. She has stepped out of time, and into the place where there are no more tears, no more sorrows. It is only those of us who are left behind who grieve for the parting. I could feel her presence again, more faintly, when I achieved my first college degree. I could hear her voice, quietly telling me "I'm proud of you, Friend. You did it."

Laura has moved on, and although I was not ready, could never be ready, to lose my friend, I know that this parting is a part of life. Death's pain is the echo of the separation Man took from God in the Garden, and it is eased by the knowledge that the gap has been closed by His son, that this world is healing. Death is a scar in the eternal tapestry, nothing more.

And now, it is time for me to move on, to move forward in my own life. I can not hold on to the hurts and worries and grief of the past year. I can not hold on to the man who was once my husband, or allow his choices to guide my emotions any longer. I must come to a place where I can see him building a new life of his own, and be able to smile and wish him well. I have not yet reached that place. I don't know how long it will take, but I do know that the only way for healing to begin is to remove the splinter of bitterness and anger.

A painting from my college Illustration class, with a quote that I hope, will define the new year.

Someone very wise once said that revenge is like a splinter. It festers and poisons the mind. The only way to heal is to let it go.

The river is moving on... and I must step into it once again, and find a new way. 


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