Where I write

Where I write

March 21, 2012

The Things we Leave Behind

Been feeling blue after learning that a bright, kind young woman I knew in Colorado died suddenly this week. Stephanie was just 22 year's old, a diabetic, and working two full time jobs, going to college, and living alone. A good kid. She recently got sick with a bad cold and even her young body was unable to overcome both the illness and diabetes. Those are the details of her death. Her brief life was more important. She was loved. What I remember most were her blueberry muffins. And her smile. The world will be a less sweet place without her presence.

I recently visited St. Xavier church in Tucson where I took the above photo of the statue of Mary dressed in blue. The dress sparkled.  The church was built in the 1700s as a Catholic Mission church. It reminds you of the past. If you are ever in Tucson, it's a must see. It's like you are in Spain without needing  a passport.
I wish now that I had lit a candle and asked protection for my young friend in Colorado, but I didn't know then. She was a healthy busy girl just a few weeks ago.  We don't know, do we? Of that we have no control. But we do know what we might leave behind.
Here's my friend Julie holding up the little red dress her mother made for her many year's ago. Her mother recently passed, but Julie has kept the velvet red dress. She wishes she could still fit in it, but even so she cherishes the dress not just because it is so darn adorable, but because it's something to remind her of her mother.
As I've written before, yard sales are my weakness. I bought this painting at a charity rummage sale a few weeks ago. As I was walking away, a man came up to me and began telling me how his Aunt Mary had painted this in 1993. He said it was one of the last paintings she completed before she died of cancer. He said she had been married twice, widowed twice, and needed a hobby, so his aunt would go to her cabin in Flagstaff, Arizona and paint. Mary never was famous and I paid less than $10 for this painting, but I'm really glad she left this behind. The man said "his tastes had changed" and that's why he was selling the painting for charity. I wonder if he will regret letting go of his Aunt Mary's painting? I would have kept it forever. But then I guess we really never do get to keep things forever, do we?
This is a photo of my friend's back yard in Encinatas, California. I really want to think that's where we all go someday....some place beautiful and calm. I want to picture Stephanie there and Julie's mom and the man's Aunt Mary here. Except my friend wouldn't want all those people in her backyard cause, hey, it's her backyard but you know what I mean...someplace safe and beautiful where they can rest while we hold them dear in our memories.
Finally, this is the little silver spoon my talented, creative friend, Rita, made me for me for my birthday. She's a very crafty gal. I will keep this spoon forever, and not because she said nice things about me which I do appreciate, but because when I look at it I feel happy and remember my friend. It doesn't matter what we leave behind, sometimes love is just enough. So while I feel blue I also feel very lucky, too. Life is such a mixture of rain and sunshine.


Stella said...

This is so tender...I like how you started off feeling blue and then mentioned the statue of Mary in blue.

I have a lot of family stuff, photos, pocket watches, even old eyeglasses that were from generations before me. Even though I never met the people who died and left the objects behind it's nice to have them, to have that sense of connection. Object carry whatever significance we give them I guess. Sigh

Rita A. said...

Thank you. I'm so glad you like the spoon. They are fun to make and it is special to have given you a memory.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. Keep those memories close and cherish them.

j.C. Nierad said...

thank you for sharing your thoughts...a beautiful reflection for your friend.

SunsetCindi said...

God gave us memories so we can treasure all of those who leave our lives. Your friend is smiling down at you as you treasure her memories.