Life is never black and white. Cut and dried. Clearly carved to give us a perpetual glimpse at any given moment of what to expect in order to reassure ourselves of what's to come.
We desire to feel safe and secure nestled in the arms of life.
But it's nothing like that at all.
We expect it to be though. We expect that each day, each and every day will manifest itself just as we expect it to. Predictable and our way in an almost compulsive pattern.
And we get comfortable with with our expectations. And assume this pattern will not change.
Until one day.
On that day, life happens and changes it's predictable safe pattern and leaves the door open just a tiny bit, but enough for death to enter.
You see death is never predictable. It's inevitable, but never predictable. It can't be controlled, it's never punctual and often plots to make it's grand entrance a surprise. Other times death enters slowly and allows us to get accustomed to it's finality. After lingering painfully, we often beg it to bring sweet relief to end it's torturous journey.
But not this time. Death showed up to claim this one without warning, swiftly like a thief in the night, it crept in and out before anyone had time to catch a glimpse or even suspect it was there.
She wasn't old nor was she young. She lived careless. She drank a little and smoked a lot.
But she was fine. Not the picture of health, but just fine. Funny thing was, her husband was supposed to go first.
We were all so convinced, complacently assuming this was to be. Death, cleverly disguised as a disease has been working it's way through his body for a very long time, leaving him frail and dependent and leaving her no choice but to be the rock. And that didn't faze her a bit. Most days anyway.
She would get sick and shrug it off. She didn't have time to be down. You see, she took care of him, ran a business and was a devoted mother, grandmother to the rest of her family. Not to mention a devoted friend to the rest of us. She fed more people than I could count. Created unnecessary jobs for those who needed extra money so they didn't feel like they were getting a hand out.
Just a few days ago we talked. And even though it was about a bunch of nothing, she had encouraging words for me, just like always. Her eyes twinkled and her voice....it sounded like whiskey laced heavily with cigarettes. I will remember that voice always.
She always called me baby. And that was special.
Now she is gone.
She laid down to sleep and death abruptly pounced. No time to prepare. No goodbyes. Just never woke up.
I know she didn't want to go. Hey, she was just getting started. I know she never dreamed she would leave before her husband. He needs her so much.
But I'm so happy that she made a difference. Left her mark, if you will. That she loved and was loved so deeply by so many.
I will miss her and hope that she is smiling at these words while I write this.