Hoping to Get My Groooooove Back

For reasons I can’t pinpoint I have had zero interest in journaling. For starters, I feel like a dullard. I haven’t done anything interesting and I don’t know anything funny. Well, except I look like I have the POX from Florida, North Carolina, and Texas mosquitos. I must have AB blood…this is something I read recently in the NY Times. AND redheads, even faux reds are bitten more often….I was once a genuine red head so it must be my oils, or whatever.

I aIMG_3810.jpgm going to reflect/write a little about the trip to Florida for Cee’s memorial. I should have written immediately after but I felt waaaay too overfilled. Everything was big in my head. The main thing: I kept wanting to talk about it with her. We had some hair-raising fights and dry spells but we always liked an after-action review. Always. Sooooo, I stayed at Cee’s house with her remaining family—brother, Ed; sister-in-law, Lea, niece, Shelley; nephew, Scott and his son, whose name I could never ever hear well enough to repeat. He was an easy little 4 year-old who mostly played video games.

Lea asked if I would be ok on a blow up mattress….I must have let that sink in over two minutes but I managed to say as long as someone would help me get down and up. I arrived and hallelujah it was a tall blow up! It would have taken a crane to get me up otherwise. They resally did everything they could to make me feel welcome and loved and significant.

I say that because I may have been the OLDEST friend, 54 years, but she definitely had lots of NEW friends that were major important to her. It was odd though to sometimes feel on the periphery after so many years of feeling center stage….thanks to Cee and her family.IMG_3782.jpg I learned too much. I learned that it really wasn’t necessary for me to take so many things personally. Cee pretty much treated old and new friends the same….the new folks just didn’t take it to heart, or if they did they didn’t seem too injured. Eddie and Lea both said to people that I was like Cee’s sister. Here is what I can say now: I am sure I hurt her as often—I didn’t get it. So now she is dead and the reality is I miss her much more than I ever imagined, especially after one of our heated phone calls. And especially after she hung up on me.

The first thing Lea did was take me upstairs to Cee’s room, telling me to take anything I wanted. I came away with some very, Cee-like kimonos. Throughout the weekend, I was encouraged to take anything. Cee’s will arrived after I left for NC and Florida but Len read me the parts involving me. Two Mah Jongg sets…one, her great-great grandparents and the other, her mother’s vintage set…..Both I dearly love. In addition, she left me a very generous amount, I’m thinking for trips. I have not read the will and I don’t think I will. Her attorney was at the memorial –He handed me an envelope with photos of the Mah Jongg sets. I commented that this was exactly what I would expect from Cee. He agreed and said she was very thorough. Yup.IMG_3806 (1).jpg IMG_3743.jpg IMG_3763.jpg

So the memorial service was at a local park where Cee and other friends walked their dogs….a very nice, large, wooden pavilion set up with cold water bottles, fresh fruit, and sausage biscuits. Another table had a large canvas photo of Cee from her Hawaii days wearing a lea. Also a basket of sand dollars for take-aways, and index cards for memories. Cee’s daily lists were always on 3×4 neon index cards. Very appropriate choice. And there were dog friends in attendance, too. Eddie and Lea welcomed all, a fellow Kiwannian served as MC, and family and friends spoke. I spoke first and managed to do a good job. My comments were mapped around the poem about friendship — A season, a reason or a lifetime. Anyway, I received compliments. It was interesting to hear the other remarks…… Later in the afternoon, the family took her ashes out to Sister Key and Cee’s friends released evanescent bubbles from the sea wall. IMG_3772.jpg

There is a lot I am leaving out…much about the dynamics of her new friends and the family. I had a chance to really bond with Cee’s niece and nephew. Maybe what is missing is I can’t really figure out how to close the circle. This is waaaaay more difficult than I ever imagined. I will write more later, I think.


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