I don’t say this often – in fact, I never say it – but I’m too young for this shit. Growing up as an only child with few friends, I often got on better with my parent’s friends, or at least people closer to their age. No one told me that would be a disadvantage once I became an adult.
This morning I learned that the second friend in two months has died of cancer. She was 62, not quite my parent’s age but close. This one is different than the last. Last time I was angry and I railed against the universe about the vast unfairness of it all.
This time – this time we’d actually been expecting it for years. That is, we knew it was a possibility. But she’d battled back so many times before that I for one had started to assume that she always would. She was a fighter. Even up to last week, the last time I saw her. We visited her along with another couple and while she was obviously weak, it was clear she hadn’t given up. She was looking forward to getting moved to a nursing facility and even making plans for beyond that. By the time we left, it wasn’t difficult to believe that she might just recover yet again.
So while I’m not entirely surprised, I am saddened and disappointed. I already miss her commenting on my Facebook. I will miss her medical updates. Last year, she helped keep me company at one of my craft shows and I took leftovers to a get together at her house after the season ended. I hate that she won’t be there this year.
She used to have a quote at the end of her emails that said, “Don’t regret getting old. It is a privilege denied to many.” Important words to remember today.