You see Rufus was a story I was making up in short little installments and sharing them with my best friend Lorraine. Since I worked out of town for most of the summer, only coming home for a few days a week, it was hard for us to get together. Of course here in the great Northeast we do have telephones so I'd call her to share another funny tidbit about Rufus that I made up (yeah it's all make believe). Like the day I called her and said "so Rufus the Alpaca swears the song "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" was a song he wrote and it was stolen from him during a drunkin' brawl at a Motown Bowling Alley. She just laughed and asked what I was smokin' in the White Mountains and how much cleaning products I was inhaling at my job. We made plans like we always do, some we managed to complete, others we pushed off to the future when things weren't so "crazy".
But I can't finish the story...because my friend Lorraine is gone. The future didn't come. Things didn't get less crazy. I wish she had simply run away, found a new life, lived large in Biddeford (we had a lot of jokes about the city of Biddeford Maine). Instead she passed away, flying into the great unknown, leaving a streak of light across the sky while we who loved her, fell into a dark starless night.
No one saw it coming. There were no endless hurricane warnings, no go to your basement now and ride out the tornado roaring down your street....just a blink and then silence. The silence of her not being there.
Deafening silence even with hundreds of people in the room.
You never know how big of a presence someone is in your life until they are gone. How the hole is so big you could drive a truck through it. I've tried bargaining with the Grand Poobah, the Man in Charge, the Queen of Hearts to no avail. I'm told what's done is done. That I'll someday "find" a reason for the way things "are". Why the lottery picked the wrong face, the wrong number, the wrong place, the wrong time.
I want an explanation of why I have to watch my friend struggle at the loss of his wife, the love of his life and not have the words to make it OK since it's not OK. It's very far off the center line of OK. So far off the line that someone should have had a chance to take single penalty shot to change the outcome of this game being played on this very warped television network where kids have to say goodbye to their mom when they are teenagers and she, only 45.
Life is as quick as a lightening bolt. It's blinding and white hot and in flash it's gone.
Memories survive. They make you laugh; your expression as you walked out of CBGB's ladies room was priceless. You always saying "but it will be FUN" all the while knowing I'm going to ask "whose bad idea was this" - even if I was having a blast. Memories also make you cry; seeing your husband shake endless hands and saying the right words when there are no right words. Watching your children so strong while giving your eulogy - how proud you must have been!
The three weeks you've been gone has felt like months, years, a lifetime. Lorraine, you are missed, you are loved and you will always be in the hearts of everyone who loved you.
For us all- but especially for Michael.
Time is a great healer but you'll always be missing....