In the stillness of my room, I lie on my bed, thinking…listening to Andrea Bocelli playing softly in the background…and wishing I had Chelle to talk to…like we have done a million times since high school. Then two more beautiful women come to mind. And I realize just how lonely I am. Words cannot express how much I miss them. How much I need to talk to them. These wonderful women not only touched my life but the lives of my children. And they are greatly missed. Within the span of one year, I lost all three.
My beautiful mother passed on August 9, 2015. In 1982, my parents and siblings moved from Indiana to North Carolina. We never lived near each other again. The phone was our lifeline. Mom and I used it often as we were very close. I regret the time spent apart and the memories that were never made. I do cherish the visits between here and there. And our precious talks. My mom was sweet and very kind. Even as an adult she was still protective of me. And I loved that about her. She was 74 when she passed. Too young in my opinion, but she was so very tired. She left peacefully. And I needed to let her go.
The second beautiful woman is Nancy. She was an older woman who lived next door to us. She was 74 years old too when she passed away on April 11, 2016. Nancy was a seamstress, and a talker. She mended and altered many articles of clothing for my family. She had a bazillion zucchini recipes. And she loved to talk. We had many discussions in her living room, her sewing room, and on the phone. When she called, I knew I’d be on the phone forever. Before we moved away, my youngest daughter and I would go over very early in the morning and have coffee with her on her front porch. She always listened and gave good advice. I really really miss our talks.
The third most beautiful woman is Chelle. She passed away at the young age of 54, on November 1, 2016. I tell people that she was the best part of me. And she was. She kept me grounded without even realizing it. I can’t fully explain our relationship. It was exceptional. It was unconditional. She gave me more love than I ever deserved. She was giving, gracious, and grateful. I remember Chelle telling me that when she was a little girl, many years before I ever met her, she would run around her yard singing, “Andrea, Andrea”. It was her favorite name at the time. And then this new girl shows up in high school with the name of Andrea. And that was me…
(I’ll have to share more about her another time.💔)
I visited her lovely daughter, Amanda, last June, along with her husband whom she left too soon. Amanda is taking very good care of the things that meant so much to her mom. Especially the memorial garden that was designed when Chelle lost her son, Amanda’s brother, several years prior to her passing. Now it’s a memorial garden for the two of them. As I sat in the garden, I wrote this poem:
In the Garden (With My Chelle)
I am visiting the garden with my friend,
And although on the bench I sit alone,
Her spirit is ever present,
As she moves thru the rustling trees,
Her scent is in every bloom,
She sings to me in birdsong,
And with the touch of a butterfly’s wing,
She kisses me.
And the tears fall like rain….
Memories begin to flood my soul…
The dock that once was so big,
when not very long ago,
our wee ones sat with little legs draped over the edge, now seems so small
And the motorcycle track that was once filled with energy, is silent now,
The unbearable loss of a child,
…and now my best friend.
I wish with all my heart that this wasn’t so,
That I will turn around and she will be standing here, along with her precious son,
But it’s just not to be.
As I sit and watch bubbles surface on the pond,
I hear the soothing hum of a bumble bee,
“Don’t be sad”, she says. “Embrace the love that was and still exists in your heart.”
All I can say is…I will try. ♥️
Maybe the quarantine has caused me to reflect on things that are most important in life. I believe those would be God and our relationships. What else is there really? Money, processions, cars, property….what is worth more than laughter with a friend, the love of your spouse, hugs from your children, smiles from a stranger, and blessings from God? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I hope that you use this quiet time to reflect on the most important things in your life. It’s about putting things in perspective. Cherish the time with those you love. Don’t forget to say “I love you”. And say it often. You never know what a day will bring, or the next phone call.
Hold fast to all that makes your life remarkable.
Be loving. Be kind. And be forever grateful for what is…and what was. ♥️
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you found something meaningful in it. Life is short.