A while ago, I lost a friend. Not an acquaintance or corporate confidante but someone, who for years ‘got me’ and I ‘got him’.
He was an unexpected and rare constant in my life.
Regardless of our pernicious work environments, I naively convinced myself that the laws of nature did not apply to us. Being a realist, he would remind me that the day would arrive when our luck would run out and one of us would be left behind. But you’re never really prepared, are you? How could you be?
There, in the remotest parts of countries, we would familiarize ourselves with our makeshift environments, where having a sense of humour and good imagination were highly recommended.
With veritable trust and entitled candour, we would draw out the best in each other - often providing cautionary advice, whether it was requested or not.
Intriguing and insightful topics of conversation enlightened my senses as we would jink from segue to segue. We did not know how or where our words would land nor did we care. It was all good. Intention or implication would be realized later – like the afterthoughts of a syncopating stone tripping on water.
Oddly enough, we never got in the way of who we were – something to do about sacred ground, he would often say. In retrospect, it all makes sense now.
He said he would never hurt me – and he never did.
And when the last word, the last thought and every heartfelt emotion emptied from our mouths, there we remained – two isolated and unlikely souls who found happiness and solace in being together.
His faith and trust in me was, at times, overwhelming. I often questioned how I would ever live up to this image…this woman…this paladin that he saw in me…and now - I don’t have to. Reality clings to me like an uninvited guest.
I was beyond grateful to be on the receiving end of his brilliance, warmth, love and kindness and my heart was more than aware of the providence of every second - as the minutes of a few precious hours passed us by. Little did I know it would be our last time together.
There’s no place to hide when I feel the sound of his voice deep within my heart. Every lilting note of our conversational ballad plays before me - slow and easy.
I have changed. The world around me has changed. The wind altered its direction and I have blown away with it. Little pieces of my soul are scattered about in continents I remember well as I deftly try to hang on to some semblance of normalcy. On so many levels, I am weak where I was once confident and strong and for now, I am OK with that. Laughter graciously catches and releases the undercurrent of my sorrow.
I have no idea what exists beyond the next corner or what tomorrow will bring or take away. I live my life between these parameters. It’s the truest and most balanced act of kindness I can give myself.
Within my being, hope breathes.
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