Negative Space

Saying good bye, it hits differently these days. Specifically day 746 has made saying goodbye forever to someone I love a flood of so many feelings. This isn’t a simple goodbye. Not that any goodbye in death is only ever just nuanced in pastel and soft music, or only ever an end of drive way send off…this one hurts me deep into my soul. It’s pulling tears out by my shoulders, stopping time. Along with my wish for less regret, this moment is steeped in absolutes because you see this isn’t just the loss of a magical and trusted second mother of which Debi was to me at one time in my life….I absolutely could have had more time with her to say my goodbyes and I didn’t. I absolutely could have prevented my wish for less regret with her…but here I am, schedule cleared, dripping nose and broken heart wishing I had less regret. About 6 years ago..and truly the time frame is foggy, Debi’s daughter and I had a falling out. Her daughter, was one of my deepest and closest friends. In my heart she was a sister friend. She truly knew every detail about my life and personality. We were free to be absolutely any version of ourselves around each-other that we chose to or needed to be when we were together. Our confidence in each-other knew no bounds. We also fed off of each other’s demons. I always had a smoking and drinking Buddy in her. There’s simply no way of quantifying the number of late nights, cigarettes, beers and tears we shared. We were inseparable. Until we weren’t. I’ve said it before, when you’re a drunk you snip away at the trust and fabric of nearly every relationship you’re in. Most times it’s a tiny, repairable amount of damage. Once in a while it’s a big blow-up where 2/3 of the way through you realize you’re behaving so irrationally you sober up and make repairs immediately, apologizing and explaining what and why you’ve just said and done what you’ve done and conveniently sweep it away. And then there’s the irreparable black out drunk damage. You’ve already been introduced to the parts of my life that brought me to sobriety through black out drunk moments. I wish for few things but I do wish my black out moment with my friend was my sobering moment so that it could have been earlier in my life and so that I could have been introduced to the clarity that brought me back to reality and forced me to apologize the next day. I wish I would have seen the error in my rear view mirror and instead of driving faster fearing my pride lose its luster, that I would have done a U-turn so that I could have stopped the hemorrhaging because what I didn’t know then that I know now, hurts worse than any tarnished pride. I wish this so that I wouldn’t have lost a beloved friend.

Back in 1992 when we met to me she was the coolest chick in high-school, and she smelled good! Second period biology, she was unabashedly unapologetic & rough around the edges. She loved punk music and smoking cigarettes. Behind closed doors she was soft and artistic but scarred. I wanted to be all of what she was plus those other things that we shared…the soft, artistic and scarred stuff. We became hard and fast friends, and I became an arm of her two person family (4 with the cat and the Guinea pig). Now, there were rules. Debi pulled me aside and told them to me sternly and swiftly. Red faced and definitive but with pride she looked me deeply in the eyes;“There will be no hurting my daughter, and there will be no touching. You won’t make her fear anything and you won’t make her cry” followed by a gentle ‘you can still trust me’ dropping of her shoulders at the end with her signature squeaky, bear hug. I stuck to that pact for decades. A friendship and Kinship between Debi and I of honored trust and love. And then I broke that trust. The hardest part for me is that I never got to fess up to it to Debi. I didn’t get the opportunity to ask forgiveness for breaking that pact as her incredible mind was stolen by dementia. I wish I could have been there in the twilight of Debi’s life only to see her off and to hold the hand of her daughter, my sweet sister friend during her “B’s” passing. My heart aches the deepest at the history of their bond lost in my memory, and I fear I won’t be able to share those memories of her mom and their shared moments that I witnessed with her..it shatters me, it’s like I’ve burned a first and last edition book.

Addiction steals from you. It takes what you love and cherish the most and it pushes it to the brink of its limits of strength and you’re either lucky enough to catch it before it gets lost forever, or you lost it long before you figured out that the anchor chain wasn’t attached to the ship. I miss my friend. She has let me go and maybe someday she’ll find my foot prints when she is ready to seek my path.

“May your face shine down upon thee and be gracious unto thee, and give thee peace, and give thee peace.”

Debi, you saved me when I needed saving. My love for you brings me peace. I hope our spirits cross again, I have missed you.

Friend, you saved me when I needed saving. My love for you brings me peace. I hope our paths cross again someday, I have missed you.