Reflection on a Life Well Lived

Between the wicked wind storm and the gentle light rain were a few moments when the sunset was magnificent. I sat and soaked it up and reflected that it’s those few brief moments in life that stand out. They aren’t necessarily the picture perfect ones that we remember but it’s the series of shared collections that bind us to each other. So perhaps one person would be focused on the wind, one on the rain and another on the sunset but we all shared the same experience.

Tonight I lost a friend to cancer. We shared many evenings together at work over the years and bonded over quilting, talking about our children and our rural backgrounds. Now before you think it’s one of those picture perfect friendships it wasn’t as we were both strong opinionated women. She had a heart of gold, my friend did, and was so wonderful to the patients. I used to harass her, regularly, about her smoking and would make her go change her greens but was her biggest supporter and fan when she quit a few years back. We kept in touch after she retired which was when our Davidson connection grew. Around the same time that we bought our house from near Davidson she moved back there which prompted emails and calls and a fabulous visit with her Red Hat group.

pat and bernie

The last couple of years have been a health struggle for her but she faced it all with a smile. There were no tears or hysteria just a matter of fact acceptance that this is what was to come. She leaves to mourn a devoted son, who has gone the extra mile. She and her daughter had a rocky relationship but with impending death some things are swept aside as you are forced to recognize realities, limitations and move on to acceptance. She was a gramma and a great gramma which brought her immense joy. She was a friend to many and will be missed.

The end was fairly quick and that’s the way she wanted it. I had been up to visit her daily till Thursday when she was moved to Palliative Care. I had planned to go up tomorrow afternoon but now she is gone. Like the rain, the wind or the sunset; our lives are really just a fleeting moment so we must remember to connect and care. We don’t always get a second chance. 


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