Fingerprints

Last night I learned friend had died. We didn’t get to know each other for very long before she got sick from cancer, but I think we both sensed a budding connection, forged by similar senses of humor.Early on in her illness, she seemed confident she would beat it. We met a few times at the local café, and she would announce the countdown to her last chemo treatment with a calm assurance that this, too, would pass. Her face would tell a different story, but I chose to believe the confidence because I knew we both wanted too.I kept that belief over the last few months, even as we lost touch her treatments and my decision to start a graduate teacher preparation program kept both of us out from socializing for very different reasons.A few weeks ago another friend of mine were sitting at that same café wondering if we should reach out, if our friend was at a place where she could receive social calls. Less than 24 hours after our wondering, we learned that her disease was about to come to a sad end, and we both cried.The first six months of 2019 have been marked by the loss of several friends, and, once, I would have steeped myself in grief and loss. A few years ago, however, another very close friend passed away, and her passing forever changed that. She knew her life was about to end, and, instead of planning a funeral for her self, decided to throw a going away party and tell her friends how grateful she had been to have them in her life. The Big Guy and I cried after we left it, but come up for the most part we went home and into our lives grateful for having known her. I still see her fingerprints around our town, and they make me think of her, and I smile.Last night, I wept because it is normal to do so when you lose a friend. Then I thought of our short time together and of the places where I will likely see her fingerprints and smile, and made a conscious decision to go to bed grateful for having met her, even if it was for far too brief period of time.