Today is my friend's birthday. And I miss her. In any other year, we would be planning a celebratory lunch today. There would be laughter and gifts and hugs. There are 3 of us "sisters' and it has been our custom over the years to celebrate our birthdays and holidays together.
No, this year we celebrate from afar.
And we mourn what we can't have and hope for what will be next year.
I have lost many people, many souls these past 10 years. My parents, some furbabies, my aunt and uncle who were like parents to me, my mother-in-law who became my mother in her last years - and my beautiful, wonderful husband and soul mate John.
Through all of it, I had my "sisters". But now even that is taken from me.
Many of us who have lost loved ones have gathered together in various forums and we have commiserated. And we have voiced how this year and its challenges has brought our grief back to us anew. It's a strange phenomenon. One loss has amplified others. It was not anything any of us expected.
But this year and its isolation and hardships has taught us something else too. It has shown us what matters.
Reaching out matters.
Caring for others in whatever way we can matters.
I have actually made new friends this year in spite of the isolation. Through the wonders of social media and Zoom I have been able to see and "touch" others. Those people have kept me going in ways they will never know.
And I have gone inward and learned about myself.
Today is my friend's birthday. She doesn't know it yet but I sent her something that will arrive today to let her know she is still in my heart. And we'll talk on the phone. And I will send her cute texts today to hopefully make her smile.
And I will look forward to next year and the renewed hope of another day.