A special friend departs

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This has been a challenging week. Monday morning, I woke up with a neck-related headache from sleeping funny. The dogs didn't let me have my usual routine start--something got them excited and they were so churned up, I had to let them outside right away instead of doing my morning ablutions and reading my "I AM a Blessing" decree first as I usually do. I really do better when my morning goes according to my routine.

Not long after, the doorbell rang, and it was the lady who cleans house for our dear next-door neighbors, Stan and Ricki. She said that the door was locked and that they had not left her the key as was the custom. We made a call to the family business, and found out that they were all at the hospital. Making a long story short, I gave her our key to get in, but a little while later, she came over in tears saying that Ricki had died. In shock, I saw Stan's car in the driveway and ran over to see him. She had recently had back surgery and apparently, a clot had formed from inactivity, went to her brain, and had killed her almost instantly.

These two were so close--definitely soulmates, and it's really a challenge for me to not just dissolve in sadness for his loss. He will miss her in ways I can't bear to imagine. They did everything together--they started a business together and then continued to work there after they passed it on to their children, they traveled all over the world together, and survived the loss of their son together--and those are just the things I know about. We had an interesting connection that I first found out about 2 and a half years ago--they were married on the day I was born! My 50th birthday was their 50th anniversary.

Ricki was such a neat lady--really kind and loving and funny. I wouldn't say we were close friends based on the amount of time we spent together, but we had the kind of relationship where there was a genuine love and fondness that made our friendship far more than the sum of the minutes we spent together. Rick and Ricki had a nice relationship, too, as Rick has brought their newspaper up to their door almost every day since we moved into this house, a little over 7 years ago.

The funeral was today, and it was quite an experience. It is the first Jewish funeral I've attended. It was just a graveside ceremony, and the turnout was huge. I know they were very active in their synagogue, and the rabbi (so Rick tells me) who is the rabbi over all of Denver did the service. It was really beautiful and did her justice. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and was sunny and upper 40s. There were, of course, many tears shed, but there were also moments of levity during the service, too. Perhaps the best one was completely unplanned, however, and most meaningful to Rick and me.

After the family had entered the limo to leave, someone's car alarm went off. Rick and I both looked at each other and cracked up. I said to Rick, "That's SO Ricki!" (Ricki's car alarm often got set off in their driveway.) And then, to make it even funnier, 3 or 4 other car alarms went off, so it was a symphony of car alarms! I'm sure people thought the original alarm was their car and hit their panic button to turn it off and found it wasn't theirs after all. But I just knew that Ricki was having her fun with us! Of course, by this time, we weren't the only ones laughing. I loved that.

I will miss her so much. Even though we did not spend that much time together, it was just nice knowing she was there, and always ready with a listening ear and a hug. Interestingly, Ricki's sudden departure has brought up more of my grief for the loss of my own mother to process. That surely is a gift.

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This page contains a single entry by Julia published on November 16, 2006 2:12 AM.

I AM A Blessing was the previous entry in this blog.

I live in Love is the next entry in this blog.

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