Thank you Sharon, for living as long as I do, just the way you are.
A friend of mine is very sick and may leave us soon, to return to where ever it is that humans return when they are done lighting and loving the way for others.
She has a devoted husband and family around her and many who love her.
I have made the conscious decision to not watch her die.
I have made the conscious decision to keep her alive for as long as I live.
For as long as I live and my mind is in tact, my friend Sharon will live as I think of her, speak of her, laugh at her antics, and reminisce on the magical moments, the silly miscommunications, the very clear conversations, the clever quotes, and all the love and revelations that have changed my life for knowing Sharon.
Sharon will live in Las Vegas. She will live in Jackson California, in San Francisco, Napa, Bellingham, Marina Del Rey, and every other place we’ve been together that has enough room in my head for her giant smile. A smile I will keep, without allowing mortality to taint it. I will not watch her smile be stolen in front of my eyes.
It is not every friend that a person can do this with.
Most would make you feel guilty, or tug at your heart with all those traditional things you are “supposed to” feel and behave accordingly.
Sharon has never really been traditional in that sense. She would never allow “supposed to” to dictate her behavior or encourage anyone else to let it control his or her own.
As a friend, maybe I’m supposed to go sit by her bedside and watch her body betray her by imprisoning her enormous spirit in an increasingly tiny body.
Maybe I’m supposed to call her every day and ask “How are you feeling?” so that she can be brave and make jokes, and exhaust her precious energy to make me feel better about her pain.
Maybe I’m supposed to go to her house and help her to the bathroom or fluff the pillows under her fragile head and fix the blanket over her numb limbs.
Maybe I’m supposed to read her stories, entertain her, talk about the autumn leaves that she cannot enjoy or walk through as she dozes in and out of the conversation.
Maybe I’m supposed to act according to the social rules that say you must treat the dying in a way you never treated them when they felt strong and vibrant.
Supposed to is not how Sharon lives.
She often says there is no “I love you, therefore…”
She says even more frequently, “I love you.”
For that and many other reasons, I will give Sharon all the years I have left to live as she is known by me.
Presently, from the other side of town, she is looking at me through those bright blue eyes that will never close, and she is quoting Werner Erhard…. “You are perfect exactly the way you are.”
This photo was taken by another friend. I like it because it has the maternal figure in the background that demonstrates unconditional love. Sharon is like that.
~ by leakelley on November 11, 2011.