Reflections of friendship

Diane, my friend

Today reminds me of Diane….Halloween was one of her favorite holidays.
Christmas was number one, that’s true.  But she absolutely loved autumn with its leaves turning colors and crunching beneath her feet….the jack-o-lanterns and costumes, the nip in the air.

I miss her, miss our friendship.  We used to make a big thing of  Halloween and Christmas; decorating the our apartment (and ourselves) and either hosting or going to parties. Diane could be a lot of fun, and usually got the attention of a few fellows when she walked in a room.  I was the ugly duckling…for a long time gratefully so. My brain was scrambled enough without adding romance into the mix.

Diane was an incredible person, a gifted artist and a wise, patient friend at a time when no one else seemed to care.  Diane’s pioneer spirit and love for adventure were never more keen than when we left Philly.  Her courage, knowing my mental condition at the time, was exemplary…luckily for me, courage based in faith knows no bounds.

We weren’t trying to erase our past….we just wanted to loosen the shackles that we felt were holding us back.  Little did we know at the time that most of those chains were of our own making.  That lesson took years, and in truth I’m still learning it.

Together we took on the unknown; certain of only one thing….boom or bust it was up to us.  Somehow we managed to carve out our own little niches in this crazy world.  For a long time we were roommates as well as friends, but even after we went our separate ways in 1991 we remained friends. 

Diane was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 1997 and fought the disease all the way up to her final day, April 3, 2008.  The battle she fought was hard and focused.  She changed her diet, worked more on meditation, insisted on filtered water, tried every kind of chemotheraphy….her chemo doctor started calling her the “EverReady Bunny” because each time the cancer tried to attack a new location, she fought it ruthlessly and unrelentingly…refusing to acknowledge death, let alone accept it.

Some of this refusal was courage, a lot of it was a strange form of denial…she was good at denial, but who am I to judge?  Hey! She stood by me during my bout with non-linear reality, so fair is fair!  Besides, she was my best friend.

We had a lot of fun together, us and our buddies Janie and T.   We met Janie in Venice when we moved down from San Francisco in 1983 and stayed in touch through the years. We met T when we moved back to San Francisco in 1990 and she’s been part of the family ever since. 

We helped each other through our dear friend Diane’s illness and death….we shared memories and mourned together through phone calls and visits. Janie and T have stayed in my life since Diane’s passing, and I’m so very grateful for that.  Janie wants to move to San Francisco, it would be good to have her closer. T is just across the bay and we visit often as possible.

For today, Fifty Five Is the New Reflections of Friendship….thinking about my many blessings from heaven.

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