Monday, November 24, 2008

There but for the grace of God...

Sorry, but if you are looking for the funny, you won't find it here today. It's been a long week, y'all.

Each day, I remind myself that every moment is a gift. I am quelling my urge to procrastinate, and I am trying to celebrate life every second I am breathing. J and I had a wonderful date on Tuesday night, making homemade burritos, drinking wine, watching our shows, and laughing a lot. But when we crawled into bed that evening, I burst into tears. Grief washes over me like a wave some days, and I am prone to fits of crying.

Now, I am not grieving because I lost Donna, though I will miss her dearly. I am grieving for all that was lost to her friends and family. Everything they must continue without: a sister, a daughter, a friend. Her "life celebration" was heartbreaking and beautiful. The funeral home was filled with all things that were Donna: her Morrisey memorabilia; her pin collection; her stuffed animals; her roller skates; the books she loved. There were pictures and slide shows and, most poignantly, silent video of her living, moving, breathing, laughing. Her loved ones presented a gorgeous portrait of a life - of her life - that ended so abruptly. I was overwhelmed by the injustice of it all. As the minister eulogized: "I think we can all agree, folks, that 31 years? It's just not enough. Thirty-one years is NOT enough."

Amen to that, brother.

At the service, I spoke with another coworker.

"I was the last person to see her alive," he said, his eyes filling. "I drove her to get her car, which she was having cleaned. She was chatty on the ride there - same old Donna. I stayed to make sure everything was okay. When she got in the car, she rolled down her window and smiled at me. 'Smells much better in here!' she said. Then she drove off. You know, they found a Wawa receipt in the car. She must have stopped there, and then the accident happened. I dropped her off at 5:15, and they called the accident at 5:33."

I can't stop thinking about that fucking Wawa receipt, either. One minute you stop for a coffee, or a snack. The next - nothingness.

When I got home, I looked up her myspace page, presumably to further torture myself. Her last login was the day she died.

And these, Internet, are the thoughts that keep me awake at night now. The idea that you can be going along in your regular routine - checking myspace, picking up your car, stopping for a coffee... And then, that's it.

And I sit here, in the coffee house, staring at my monitor, and the post-it I've attached to it, per Allie's suggestion: Life. I think, this time, I will hold onto this resoluteness: to remember that each moment is a precious, precious gift. That no matter how bad it gets, we are all so lucky to be here still.

I hope you will too.

And tomorrow, by God, I will lighten this place up a bit. Talk about the New Kids concert, or something. That ought to get us smiling again, no?


Anonymous said...

she has touched alot of people through you, that should make you feel good!

now you u have to post about something really funny. punta cana memory perhaps?

- Allie

Homevalley said...

OH, I have done you one better, my friend. 1990 HV, complete with brother Mike in a weird half football jersey... I think he thought he was AC Slater that year. Check it!

And thanks. I love you!