This was a weekend of extremes.
Friday included an Oyster Roast overlooking the Cape Fear River and spending time with friends and colleagues. Time outside, a beautiful venue, great food and an amazing sunset made for some great memories.
Saturday brought sad news. A close family friend passed away unexpectedly.
Our families bonded when we moved to the same town in Oklahoma. I was in fifth grade. My dad worked with Jay so naturally, Syd and my mom became fast friends. Our families spent a lot of time together.
We moved to Massachusetts. They moved to Connecticut. And then, we ended up in the same town in Upstate New York.
I hadn’t seen Syd in a long time. I sent Christmas cards and mom updated us after she talked to her. Jay died years ago. Syd lived on her own in Maine.
But even though I hadn’t seen her in years, I was sad to hear of her passing. In my mind, she was the still the woman who hosted my brother and fiance the night before our wedding.
She was the woman who had my family over for Thanksgiving dinner, Boston Market style.
She was the artist whose work hangs over my bed.
She was my friends’ mom.
She was my mom’s best friend.
She was fiercely independent.
I still haven’t quite wrapped my brain around her passing. It’s hard and it doesn’t feel right.
It has, though, brought back so many good memories I hadn’t thought about in years.
And it made me think of my own family and how incredibly blessed I am to still have both of my parents who live a couple of hours south.
It made me think about my own children and how proud I am to be their mom.
It made me think about how grateful I am to have a life made up of happy moments. A mental photo album I get to carry around with me to open and see things that never fail to bring a smile to my face.
It made me think about how I can create happy moments anytime, anywhere. It’s up to me.
I called my mom to check in and make sure she was okay. We spent time telling stories and laughing about all of those collected moments that we will keep forever.
While I am sad, I’m also resolved to continue to make the memories and create experiences that signify a life well-lived.
To reflect on ways I can do better and be better for those people who are already in my life and with whom I want to create more memories.
The end of life can be so sad but I know her body is healed. She can create like she used to. She has no more pain and Syd and Jay are drinking martinis, reviewing their life’s happy moments collection. Together.
Sounds like a happy ending to me.