Where my thoughts are this week...

They are mostly with ES.

She is coming to the end of her 51-year life and she is doing so with dignity and with love. E is spending her final days as she seems to have spent all of them - focused on friends and family. I watch her with pain and admiration. It's like watching the Twin Towers fall - I'm powerless to change her fate, yet so overwhelmed by the enormity of it all that I can't think of much else. All I can do is be good to her daughter and take her to camp - that's the job she has delegated to me and some of our friends. She has found other tasks for others: help with the house, the finances, the computers. (I offered to make out with her husband from time to time... but I was clearly joking, in a small attempt to lighten her spirits, and I doubt he's interested, even if we had the same hair.)

And I can learn something: it is plain to see that what has mattered most to her in her life are her family - her daughter, mother, husband and siblings and the broad expanse of friends who are flocking to see her and spend any time they can with her in the time she has left. This is also the gift she can give her daughter in her final days: love counts.

I bitch and moan about a lot of things - the state of the schools, the state of my children, the state of the world, my lack of viable employment, the little things that happen to me every day. But when I think about it, there is one thing that I cannot deny - my focus in life is my family and my friends. It's how I spend my time... lunches, coffees and walks with my friends and family. 

I spent my youth traveling the world making friends and visiting them. In "almost middle age" I spend my time building a life full of love and friendship for my children closer to home. Except if we've been on vacation, I can't think of a 48 hour period in the last 10 years when one of my children did not spent time with friends.They too are learning that the cornerstone of life is friendship.

Perhaps my legacy won't be very different from E's?

Losing her is heartbreaking, and having only known her about two years. I can barely fathom the pain of her closest, lifelong friends. What a loss they must feel.

As I said, love counts. In the end, what you earned, what you weighed, where you lived are relatively meaningless.... whom did you love? How did you show that love? That's what life is about.


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