Monday, May 12, 2008

Lesson to Learn - 2

My week in Toronto was fast and furious - full of heartfelt communication and missed connections and surprises. And a new hair do. It's a little weird. I got a weave. Not exactly a LA movie star hair do, I don't have the cash for that, but her East LA cousin, I think.

Lovely hubby arranged my spontaneous trip via aeroplan miles, so it only cost $50 and a free hotel, the lovely Le Meridien King Edward. I was upgraded when I got there to platinum status (ooh!) which meant I had access to a special club floor where I had free continental breakfast, free wine (ooh-la-la) in the evenings and free internet. Mind you, I would have loved to post with a glass of merlot in my hand, but I didn't want to sit for an hour while someone was waiting for their turn. I had lugged my computer along, but I couldn't get a free signal and I wasn't about to pay $12.95 a day for internet in my room. I felt a little bereft without blogs to read.

The King Edward is old school charm (paisley print bathroom wallpaper and chintz curtains) but the bed was so comfy and heavenly I had no trouble sleeping at all. Great, speedy service and they made me feel like a VIP (which I am). The Hermes scarves helped.

I visited a couple of dear friends, both of whom were recuperating from difficult illnesses. One friend had her last radiation treatment for breast cancer last week. She is a Buddhist, too, but of a different school. I've always been in awe of her. She helped get me my first apartment, a full time job where she worked, she gave up so much in order to lead an authentic life. I've never met anyone quite like her. We haven't always kept in touch, but when we connect, it's like we just pick up where we left off.

This is her 3rd go round with cancer, and as we sipped champagne I blurted out, "thanks for not dying on me". She told she that we all had to die one day and she wasn't afraid of dying. It wasn't up to her. So true. When you get that call to do another test after a mammogram or women you know are getting diagnosed with breast cancer, when you know that not everyone survives it, you get that feeling that you too are not going to live forever and life seems so precious to you. She seemed very precious. And I realized that though she may not have been afraid of dying, but I was terrified of losing her.

Where was I while her other friends were keeping watch with her, caring for her? I was thousands of miles away behind the Rockies, grappling with infertility. Completely wrapped up with my own drama, my own life, my own navel. I get so angry when I think of all the fucking mindspace trying to conceive has taken up. It did require my focus, but at the same time, there were other things I could have done with my time! Do you know what I mean?!!! And I can't get that time back! Yeah, I know, I'm over it. But FUCK.

I wanted to give her something to show her how grateful I was for her friendship. For the hours she would listen to me blab on about myself, for the wonderful evenings on patios in Little Italy, for not judging me when I behaved liked a little idiot, for her rants in patois that left us both laughing so hard we gasped for air. In truth, there's nothing I could give her cause she doesn't need or want anything other than to connect with me, laugh with me, talk with me.

I got a lot chant about. I've been very emotional since I got back.


loribeth said...

Now how did I miss that you were in Toronto?? You were staying only about two blocks from where I work, my dear (and I agree, a great choice of hotel! -- dh & I have gone there for anniversary weekends, etc.). Oh well, next time perhaps? I'm glad you were able to meet up with your friend. It sounds like she has made peace with herself -- so why is stuff like that always so hard for the rest of us?? (((hugs))) Chant away!

annacyclopedia said...

Sigh! The King Ed! I stayed there once and it was so fantastic. I don't usually go for the old school stuff, but when it's done right, as it is there, it's the best. I love that portrait of the queen hanging in one of the stairways off the lobby. Ah, I just love the whole damn place.

Deathstar, your posts are so great. Sometimes when I read them, I feel like I found a big sister. (That sounds kind of weird when I write it, but that's really the feeling I have. Kind of a mix of warmth and awe.) You often say things I am trying to say, but with a lot more perspective and insight. Thank you for speaking your heart so clearly and with such wisdom.

I'm so glad you got to connect with your friend. People like that are such gifts.

Lori Lavender Luz said...

I envy people who have faced their own deaths and have released the fear of it. I would like to do this withOUT actually facing death, but I'm not sure it works that way.

What a blessing to have moments of presence.

Wordgirl said...

Welcome back! (We missed you.)

You write so beautifully of your friend. It truly sounds like a gift, that connection.

I really appreciate your blog and your words. It feels grounding -- a kind of touchstone to come back to and remember -- ah, yes, compassion, acceptance, recognizing the moments itself in the moment.

Thank you

annacyclopedia said...

Thanks for your comment on my latest post. It's true and I've never thought of it - that other people might envy my getting to try DI. Thanks for pointing that out. I can always use some more perspective when I'm trapped in my own bellybutton.