This morning, as I tapped around Facebook, it reported to me that three of my friends had birthdays. I obediently clicked to see who they were. One was a dear, dear friend of my sister Judi's. She'd been a friend for years and years, they'd gone to many Buddhist retreats together, quilted together, goofed off together, vacationed together. Nancy was one of the people that spent a lot of time caring for Judi as she was dying. She would drive down from Evanston, sometimes for only part of the day, just to give us some relief. She was the one that practiced alongside Judi's body after her death, in accordance with their Buddhist beliefs.
I clicked on her name. She was rarely on Facebook so I never saw her in my feed, but I thought it would be nice to say Happy Birthday. The first post I saw told me that she had died last Christmas day.
It completely knocked me off my feet. And I'm not even sure why to such an extent. I've had a hard time focusing all morning long. I stayed in touch with Nancy off and on for the first few years after Judi's death, but according to my emails, the last time was 2012. After Judi died, Nancy took her unfinished quilt projects and finished them for us. I cried when I got them. It meant so much to me.
It appears that Nancy was diagnosed with brain cancer just a few short months before she died. I can't imagine her husband Ed without her. They were one of those couples that you referred to together. If I said Nancy, and Ernie looked at me quizzically, wondering which Nancy, I would say, "You know, Ed and Nancy," and he would nod understandingly. Ed loved Judi dearly, and she him. I remember him crying at the Sukhavati that Nancy led after Judi's death.
This is a picture of Nancy, Liana, and Judi. It was Judi's 50th birthday and they rented a little house off the Carolina coast to celebrate. I was supposed to go but I told her I couldn't because I knew my boss wouldn't like me taking off work for it.
And so February rears its ugly head. Just a month of remembrances. My parent's anniversary was yesterday on Ground Hog Day. Judi died on February 7. Her Sukhavati was on February 14. My mother died the following year on February 17 and her funeral was on February 25, which was also Judi's birthday.
So many circles.
And now Nancy's death. One more circle and one more letting loose at the same time.