Celebration of life. Over the last 24 hours, that phrase took on a mixed meaning—with some common themes: 60 years. Old friends and new, coming together. Lots of connecting, lots of hugging, lots of stories. Homemade desserts.
My marathon birthday reached a crescendo last night at my friend Jane’s house. I was surrounded by friends; all women. It epitomized how my life in Carmel has come full circle from my lonely beginnings. If love is expressed by food, I felt very, very loved—all the food homemade by Jane. She always outdoes Martha Stewart—but this time, even out-did herself (wait till you see pictures). All in all, a wonderful celebration of life.
The party was hastily organized (completely due to my procrastination). True to form, one of the first people to R.S.V.P. about a week ago was the always responsible Carol.
I got home from the party late last night. 15 hours later, I was at another celebration of life, also 60 years: Carol’s life.
Some of her friends also expressed their love through food–making cupcakes, Carol’s favorite (of course mine were chocolate). We joined hundreds of people for her memorial today at the same school where I went in and asked Carol to be my friend. Carol, who never sought the spotlight, was honored as she so deserved, in tributes as beautiful as her soul—from her husband and daughters to our Congressman, Rep.Sam Farr.
As I’ve soared and plunged from emotional highs to lows, at this moment, I feel every single one of my 60 years—plus Carol’s 60. And as I write that, drained and exhausted, I wonder about the meaning of the last 24 hours. How do you draw a message from the injustice and the inequity of our 60 years’ life celebrations?
Maybe the answer is something I took home from Carol’s memorial (in addition to one of the cupcakes). I took home the message that we can celebrate Carol’s life— by bringing into our own lives some of who she was. And I can surely use Carol’s generosity, her goodness, her grace— not to mention some of her organizational skills.
So possibly the message is that simple: celebrate life. No matter what the number is— celebrate every year you get, every day you get—because that’s life. And that’s all we get.