Friday, October 05, 2012

If Tomorrow Never Comes…

I’ve always had an affinity for those words by Garth Brooks…

If tomorrow never comes, will she show how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day                 
That’s she’s my only one
And If my time on earth were through
And she must face this world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

This morning as I opened the door to leave for work the doorbell rang. My neighbor Gary stood their looking lost and gray and the words he spoke didn’t make any sense to me.

“Hey, Calista I hate to do this, but I didn’t want you to find out somewhere else, I, Renee’s gone.”

I was fairly confused, certain I wasn’t making sense of the words he spoke. So I so eloquently said,

“What, no way, Oh mi God. What happened?”  At this point I’m certain I didn’t hear the name right, but this was Gary and he suddenly was not okay, was not holding it together and could make less sense of life that this moment than I.

Yesterday morning Gary had gotten up before 6 and Renee usually followed not long after.  When she didn’t come out of the bedroom, Gary told the dogs, “Let’s go wake up, Mom.”

But, mom never woke up. 

My dear Renee, you will be so missed, the lives you have touched with your laughter and friendship will feel forever the hole of your loss. My tears fall in sorrow and loss - my prayers and thoughts fly with your soul. Thank you for having touched mine, Roger's, and Ben's lives. Be Peace my dear friend, be peace.

I am bereft, she was a lovely person who I never knew well enough, who a always enjoyed, who always was laughing, joyous, and giving.  She was a great neighbor, she was a lovely friend.

Cause I've lost loved ones in my life 
Who never knew how much I loved them
Now I live with the regret
That my true feelings for them were never revealed

I never what that regret to be mine, and yet, Renee is gone and I didn't take the opportunities that life allotted me with this person who offered so much of herself. Renee’s is only the most recent passing in this summer of loss.  In August my Aunt Mabel died of a multitude of illnesses that include – renal failure, kidney disease, and dementia.  Her passing was expected, a blessing, and I had long ago let her know what she meant to me and my life and how she had touched me and made me a better person.

Earlier this summer Marti Martin died.  It wasn’t unforeseen, she’d been battling an extremely nasty form of cancer, Marti had been one of those neighbors that you want to keep forever.  She and her husband, Sweetwater, were active in the tribe, and had held drumming in their backyard after powwows (I would listen to the drumming and singing while gardening a few yards down – it was so peaceful.  Marti died with dignity on August 14th finally crossed over to her husband Sweetwater, and leaving her 13 year old son behind. 

A week to the day my Aunt Freda passed.  She was almost 90 and until a year ago a very active woman. She led a very active life, survived the loss of her husband, a daughter and her son – and still lived a life of joy.  Then she broke her hip… and suffered a heart attack.  She was an inspiration.

  A week (seriously you can’t make this stuff up) my cousin Janice died.  Now truth be known, Janice is one of my older cousins, lived in Ohio and I’d not seen her in 40 years.  But still… they are dropping like flies.

Doubt that?  Natalie’s mother died the same day.  Then I’m driving to work and I see on the local Napa Store that Ernie Land’s memorial will be held at the Abby’s Pizza Parlour on September 15th.  I’d not seen Ernie in several months, despite working on the same street – isn’t that a sad comment?  Ernie had passed back in JUNE – where the hell have I been?

Then Ginger Taylor passed.  This is a woman I knew through out my childhood, she and her kids Valerie (whom I still play words with friend with) and Michael (my childhood husband) threw me a sixteenth birthday party.  Ginger was the neighbor who was beautiful, talented artist, a fabulous green thumb and hid her secrets in a closet.  I wanted to grow up to be just like Ginger Taylor.  She died two weeks ago.

I have lived my adult life knowing that tomorrow is not a given.  I have lived my adult life preaching to everyone to not let a moment go by when you can let someone know what they have meant to them, to their life, that they have had a hand in helping them become the person they are today.

So I made a promise to myself
To say each day how much she means to me
And avoid that circumstand
Where there’s no second chance to tell her how I feel.  Garth Brooks / Kent Blazy

In the words of John Edward – take the time to communicate – appreciate – and validate the people you love in your life. And please don’t wait – because tomorrow isn’t a given.