I knew enough not to wear my contact lenses because they itch when I cry but somehow I didn't have the same forethought when putting on my eye makeup this morning.
At 11:00 am I walked into a building I hadn't been in since the summer of 1987 when I attended a dance there with all my classmates after graduating from 8th grade. The boys were all in sports coats, ties and white pants and the girls were in a bevy of Laura Ashley dresses with tiny flowered prints and poofy sleeves. I am sure we were a sight to see.
But today I walked in to to say goodbye to a friend from that time in my life and while we kept in occasional touch over the years, time, place, and circumstance had separated us for most of the past few decades.
The service was lovely. The slide show was difficult. Baird was 37, would have been 38 this coming August. He left behind an adoring sister and a heartbroken mother. As a parent and a sister, so much of today was unbearable. I stood there with many of our classmates as we tried to digest this incredible loss. We were part of a tight-knit group of 40 kids who spent the K-8 years growing, bonding and finding out who each of us was. And sadly, this is our second loss from this group. We had to say goodbye to another dear friend 8 years ago. Phoebe was thirty, about to get engaged. Diagnosed with non-smokers lung cancer and succumbed to the disease 6 short months later. I can't even let my mind think about the life she has missed out on.
So wherever you are today, reach out to the people you love. Especially the people you've been meaning to reconnect with. Say I love you when you think it. Say thank you when you feel it. Hold people dear to you close.
And for me, my dearest friend who spends most of her time working all over this great big world is coming home in July and I cannot wait to hug her.