Below is an extract of a blog post I wrote a little over two years ago. I will explain a little later why it’s fitting for me to share it today.
”Today, exactly two years ago, I got the news that you had succumbed to the cancer that ravaged your body and you were gone. You were in your early forties. And a part of me broke in a way that nothing has ever broken before.
I type this, and I can’t stop the tears. I have to stop typing every now and then, because my vision is blurred and my nose needs blowing. How is it, that after two years, I can be reduced to this much pain and heartache for a friend?
I found the small tribute I wrote to you that day :
RIP, beautiful Tessie bear. You taught me SO much about grace, peace and unconditional love…not just during this difficult journey, but every day in the 25 years I knew you. You loved me so much, despite me being me when it was tough for others to ‘see’. You believed in me in a way no one ever did, and ever has since you’ve been gone. That’s a gift more precious than any other. So many wonderful memories, so much love and laughter. I’ll see you again one day, when we’re walking all the dogs in heaven. Till then, precious soul. Love you always, your Meggie.
I didn’t see you every day. We didn’t talk every day. We didn’t need to.
The amount of ‘little things’ moments of happiness we shared could fill more than 500 pages. Because we were strange like that.
And the tragedies and difficulties, another 500, I’m sure.
I remember the time we were mistaken for a couple. We laughed about that for years afterwards. Nothing could be further from the truth with regards to our romantic interests and sexuality.
But if I could have chosen a ‘partner’, without sex and romance, to live the rest of my life out with, I would have chosen you.
You were the first person I ever saw who brewed actual tea and used a strainer to pour us each a cup. (My mother used a teapot all the years, but with teabags.)
I still can’t get my veggie and feta stir fry to taste like yours did. I have followed your recipe exactly… maybe it truly was you that made the difference.
I am still not persuaded that pink is my colour, just because it was yours 😛 But I wear those ridiculous pink pyjamas you forced me to buy with pride and a smile as often as I can. (You’ll be please to know that I bought a pale pink top last year in the weakness of missing you, and made a pink beaded necklace to match it. My wardrobe is no longer all black. I hope you’re happy 😉 )
I still don’t like spending hours on the beach like you did, but every year you made me spend the morning there for your birthday celebration – breakfast on the beach – and I’d go, in my jeans, ha ha ha! I went last year on your birthday – yes, in my jeans. This year, the beaches are closed 😥 so I couldn’t go. But because I was outside in my own backyard with my breakfast, celebrating you, you finally got me in a pair of shorts! 😉
The weather outside today is windy and overcast – you’d think it’s miserable, and I can picture your horrified expression when I tell you once again how much I love it. You always loved the sunshine and heat. Today, it seems even the sun has disappeared in it’s longing for you.
I remember fondly the lengthy visits where no words were exchanged, other than the occasional offer of something to drink, as we sat in the same room, engrossed in the books we were reading.
Coleske; most books (although mostly crime thriller), Midsomer Murders, Chinese food – as much as possible on our budgets); freshly brewed tea on the veranda in the sunshine; Pharaoh and Age of Empires computer games – oh my gosh, and the time you got my son addicted to Mall Tycoon!; Camembert, Brie and Cranberry Cheese with crackers as a treat; all the scarves I knitted that we shared; love and devotion to dogs; movie nights with ice cream and popcorn and biltong and cheese, whatever we could afford as much as we could afford – these are, but a few, of OUR favourite things. (How many times did we watch The Sound of Music together, anyway??!!)
I celebrate you and everything you are to me, and the person you were. There are a lot of smiles and laughter in my memories and I promise I still smile and laugh when I think of you. I know you’d be upset to find me crying, but I can’t help feeling this sad. You’d understand though. And you’d love me anyway.
To say that I miss you is not adequate.
Thank you for the memories.
I love you always and forever, my Tessie Bear.
Why do I think this share is fitting for today?
On this day, four years ago, I said my final goodbye to the amazing lady I wrote about above.
I have lost far too many people in the last few years, but none impacted me like Therese did (I called her my Tessie bear, or Tess).
When I think of those I have lost, I feel sad.
Every time, to this day, when I think of the loss of Tess, I don’t just feel sad. It makes me cry all over again.
Here’s what is incredibly weird for me…
My friend was gentle, kind, compassionate. She was non-judgemental in every way. She accepted everyone as they were, without expecting them to be how she wanted them to be. Even in the most dire circumstances she held onto a hope that seemed completely and utterly ridiculous at the time. She was always excessively grateful, even for the smallest of things. She had a warmth about her that drew people to her. She truly connected – even on the internet.
The incredibly weird part for me is that all of the above seems to have intensified within me in the last three years! 😮 😮 😮
(Again, I am probably a psychologists worst nightmare 😛 )
I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I find myself, every. single. day, pausing and thinking, ”I wonder what Tess would have done/said/thought”. And most times, as I go about my day, I can hear what I heard for so many years when she was alive, ”I’m so proud of you, Meggie.”
It’s not about mimicking her, or actually wanting to be her. It’s about appreciating the abundance of value she brought to life, and striving to continue to shine her light, in my own unique way.
When I first met her, at the age of 14 (ah, youth!), I was so in awe of her, ha ha ha! I remember saying to her, ”You are so cool! I hope I’m like you when I grow up!” (She was already 18/19 at the time – I don’t remember! Age is just a number 😉 )
And I can still only hope that I will continue to adopt her amazingly positive attributes, and live a life that would have made her proud. The funniest part? She was always proud of me, just for being me!
If she could read this right now, she’d probably phone me and say, ”Hello, my Meggie. Great blog post! But you still haven’t written that damn book I said you must write!” 😛
Today I will make myself veggie stirfry, with just a sprinkling of feta, while Coleske plays in the background. And tonight I will watch Midsomer Murders in my ridiculous pink pyjamas – but with no snacks, because I have to watch my cholesterol!
Cherish the special friends in your life who impact you in the best ways, my blogging friends. Time is far too short.
Thank you for reading, and for being here ❤