I had the most lovely experience last night. A dear friend and neighbor (partners in glee are we) left the warmth of our homes to venture out into an unsually brisk windy and cold evening in Atlanta. We headed to a book signing in Decatur at the library for Patti Digh who just released The Geography of Loss. Our book club will be reading Life is a Verb in a month or so – which is another of her books. I’ve been to book signings before and love to watch the people who attend as much as I enjoy listening to the author.
I was a bit hesitant about the book. I mean, we’ve all had loss in our lives — but I don’t like to think about it, talk about it, read about it or explore it. I’m an ostrich when it comes to the subject of loss. Head in the sand immediately. However — I’ve sheepishly removed my head from said sand and listened to what Patti had to say about the subject. And I’m very glad I did. As I sat and listend to Patti read (she’s quite funny) with intervals of music (she brought a friend from Ashville, Adam Tanner– who played for us as well — very good I might add AND cute as a button – he had a dimple) tears began to fill my eyes at different intervals. I’ve also learned that I can cry in public and don’t give a gosh darn who sees me or sometimes even hears me. (no — I’m not crying all the time folks — just when a sensitive moment arises I may shed a tear or two — it is what it is – much to the mortification of my children especially at movies — ahem). There were several familiar faces in the audience — one in paticular was Laurie Foley. She spoke of her ongoing battle with the dreaded C word (cancer). I listened as tears fell down my cheeks. Screw the mascara at this point. I spoke to her afterwards and got home to realize we were already friends on FB. Love social media. Completely. At the beginning of the signing, a lady in front of us with very short gray hair, lovely face struck up a conversation about our clothing (Anda and I both wore festive attire — I suppose because we feel festive a lot — Anda sported a lovely sparkly happy shaw – a Goodwill find; and I wore my treasured Kennebunkport thrift store find – a fur collared jacket). I noticed during the event she fanned herself a lot and I wondered what she was going through. Later during the Q & A session I found out she had terminal cancer. I felt a surge of anger rise up in me. She sat down next to me at one point and I reached over to give her a pat on her leg. “I’m here for you” I wanted to scream — instead I silently wished her well and wanted to banish all illness from her being. I hate cancer. I hate illness and dying and sadness and pain and anything associated with it. I hate loss. I sound whiny don’t I. ::shrugging::::: However — I suppose my point here is that everyone has something they are going through. We all deal with it differently. We process it however we are wired to do so. I lost my husband to cancer after 3 months of marriage. I have a friend whose father has been battling this illness — it breaks my heart — but there’s always hope — and a sense of grace from people I watched last night and with friends who I see going through this with family members. Or who have lost members of their tribe (i.e. friends/family). Hope and grace. Two wonderful words.
As we drove home from the event, warming our fingers in the heated vents – because it’s FREEZING in Atlanta, each of us lost in our own thoughts of the evening. Warm in the car and in our friendship. Learning and seeking always – which is what life is about.
*Georgia Center for the Book rocks!
Kimy – we are facebook friends although we have not met. I liked this post a lot. Wish I had realized the author was at the Decatur library, I am very close. Seem to miss out on the events in downtown, in my own little world. My husband died in 2008 and I wrote a book on my first year alone and self-published it. I love how you ended your post – Learning and seeking always – which is what life is about. Through out loss magic does happen. People connect, new friends are made. I hope to meet you one day! Barbara
Hi Barbara! You would have loved the event I’m sure — Patti Digh is just divine. I hope we meet one day as well! Keep warm good Lord it’s cold outside. LOL