Yesterday I got a phone call. A friend had passed away unexpectedly.
I had only met Nicolle in the end of June but the news came very hard for me. You see, Nicolle lived with chronic illness. She and I bonded very quickly over a few mornings of coffee. We discussed the things we had in common; years looking for a diagnosis, stories of dealing with the health care system, our love of animals, our mutual sadness of never having been able to conceive a child, and intimate details of a difficult road.
Although I hadn’t known Nicolle long, I felt I had found someone I could call at any time and find understanding. I had found someone who I could make plans with and cancel at the last minute with no worries about being judged. In fact we were all going to go hear a local cover band last month and Nicolle called a couple of hours before and said she wasn’t up to it. I was disappointed – I wanted her to have an evening away – to be in a “safe” circle of understanding friends and just let the music absorb her. I wanted it for her because I wanted it for me and I thought it might be good for her. I’m glad she didn’t go – I’m so very glad she listened to her body and knew that I would understand. I didn’t think she was looking like she felt too well but she was beautiful and spunky and seemed to have energy and light.
I don’t know why people come into and out of our lives. I believe all encounters are meant to be and have life lessons attached. Nicolle and I met by chance. A phone number I had taken off a bulletin board at the local store a year earlier for pet sitting was still on my refrigerator when I needed to find someone to watch our home and pets when we went to Maine over the July 4th holiday. What if I had called that number last August when I first needed it? We would have had almost a year to know and love and share and support one another. What if I had tossed it away long ago and never met her?
I’m feeling so many mixed emotions right now. I should have seen something. I should have called last week when my gut said I needed to – it had been too long. I should have been there for her more.
We sat here on my deck a few weeks ago and she was telling me how unwell she was feeling and I asked her why she didn’t go to the doctor and she said she was tired of being in the hospital; she was tired of them not knowing what was wrong with her and she just wanted to be at home. What if I could have done something…
Nicolle, Bella Bluebird, passed away Monday morning. She laid down and went to sleep in her home. Rest in peace sweet friend – I will miss you and hold you in my heart. Thank you for coming into my life if even for a moment. True to you’re name your were beautiful happiness.
Day 322 was created in mixed media of collage and paint – and a touch of gold.