Hello, dear friend. Tonight there will be a celebration in your honor. It’s your birthday, and not one among us would miss the opportunity to give thanks for your birth. Your beloved has been working hard on the setting, and it shall be a glorious sight. Last night we put finishing touches on the Harry Potter corner, a tip of the Sorting Hat to your love of those powerful stories of friendship, steadfastness, and the ultimate message of love overcoming fear – always. Tibetan prayer flags have been hung to allow the wind to carry our prayers to you. Before they are lifted to the heavens, the prayer-filled breeze will surely dance with the lush plants and flowers of your memorial garden.
We cannot believe that ten months have passed since your body left us. It’s a funny thing for those of us who didn’t get to see you often to contemplate this reality, especially when we feel even closer to you than when you were here. I believe you have been walking with me, in your own magickal way, since my favorite day… that perfectly wonderful 11.5 hour day we shared in the hospital last October. Do you remember? It carries such a crisp beauty in my mind’s eye… your radiant smile that brightened not just the room, but the whole hospital, and surely… the whole world.
I had expected to find you at rest, on that day I had been gratefully liberated from the corporate world… the best thing that has ever happened to me… because it gifted me with that sacred day with you. Oh, what a horrible loss I would have suffered had I been tied down in a thankless job, instead of signing up to sit with you. What a delight it was for me to find you awake, sitting up in bed, talking with a friend. When she left, I got to have you ALL to myself. I loved reminiscing with you about our very beginning – an instant friendship of 25 years. I would challenge you to find one person who didn’t fall in love with you at first sight! At your birthday last year, I think you might have argued, indeed. But not now. Now, you know the truth. You told me how you were astounded, when your beloved let us know that you didn’t want to be alone in the hospital, and that people drove hours just to come sit with you, sometimes in silence as you slept. On my favorite day, I gloried in the radiance of your discovery… that you are incredibly valuable, worthy, and completely enveloped in love.
You taught me so much about grace that day, as you lit up as each hospital caregiver entered the room, and you expressed your deep gratitude… for getting sick. I witnessed you telling doctors, nurses, and dieticians that if you had not become so ill, you would not have been hospitalized, and would never have understood the importance of western medicine, and how it could be so abundantly successful to be married with Oriental medicine. That’s our Lynn… always learning, always teaching. You told every person who entered your room, on that day you thought might be your last before going home, that you were grateful for their care… and I know that they truly cared for you. It was present in the warmth of their smiles and evident in the gentle touch of assistance.
You and I made plans that day for our shared future. I saved your text message from that day when your departure was delayed, as I headed into the mountains… “Thank you for both yesterday and the promise of our future journey together. I love you. Make it a wondrous trip.” Well, our future journey didn’t exactly turn out as we had planned, did it? But, you know… I think it is turning out okay, after all. I didn’t get to help you make your dreams come true… but I get to be witness to your beloved doing so. She is following your lead, and I know that you are enormously proud of her. You taught me about healing through grace, and she is teaching me about healing through gratitude. Like many other things that have occurred this year, I am certain you have played a role in the deepening of our friendship. We are both on this journey of leaving behind a path that shifted beneath our feet, leaving us breathless and then… enlightened. We have finally figured out that time is precious, and it need not be neglected. It is up to us to give it our love, attention, and devotion. The time that we have upon the earth is sacred, and we have work to do. But not the kind of work that is thankless and unkind. The work before us is all about filling the time we have with more joy, more light, more love, more togetherness, more laughter, more… remembering.
So, here we are… gathered together… not in sorrow, but in joy. Our souls dance to the music that you planted within our hearts. Without you here, we may not remember the words, but we can hum along… eyes closed and chins lifted, ears cupped to catch the crispness of your beautiful voice upon evening breeze. Tonight we, this gathering of intentional family – bound by love, will light the candles of your birthday PIE, and though you will not have the breath to blow them out… we know that your wish has already come true. We love you more!