My friend Jeannette just died of cancer.
I had stopped being angry at Jeannette and just wished her love and peace. I told her how amazing she was. I told her I loved her. I was able to hug and kiss her goodbye.
So when I heard that she died I had a moment of sadness, and of course I miss her daily phone call, but I am at peace. I was fortunate to have closure and to see her die a death surrounded by love.
During her last few weeks, she made lists in her head and dictated them. Who should have what items, and what needed to be done in her absence, or as follow-up. Ever organized and considerate.
One day while she was in hospice, her partner gave me a box and a card that she had written on Jeannette's behalf. Inside the box was this silver ring. Here's another ring photo, this time with a chipped manicure.
I had always admired her rings.
The card said the ring was given to her in 1961 and that she wanted me to have it. I cried my eyes out.
Then I pulled myself together and went to see her.
"Tell me the story of this ring," I pleaded. Jeannette had great stories.
Another story I asked her to repeat for me before she went to hospice was the one of how she went to Woodstock. She had been a scout leader and was setting up camp for lots of girls, and she and another leader drove to Woodstock just for the day. They had tickets. On the way, her brakes burned out. She walked the rest of the way to Yasgur's farm. She saw everything. She didn't say which music acts she saw...I'm not even remembering which day it was. Anyway, then she realized she had to get back to scout camp for opening day. She walked miles back to the car, it started, she had someone help her with the brakes, and she got back to camp safely. I don't think she took the brown acid.
The ring. In 1961, in high school, she liked to assist her school principal. Brownnoser, perhaps? More like putting herself in a perfect position of power and knowledge. The principal went on vacation to Mexico and brought back this ring to thank Jeannette.
My friend was sharp and witty until the end, remembering that I was going on vacation and cracking jokes about it - until she became unresponsive and her body started really failing, which happened the day after I last saw her. As we hugged on our last visit, she said, "You'll be all right. I love you."
I love you, too. I am all right.