Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Friend Ann

My friend Ann called tonight (see "My Friend Kenny" post). I could tell immediately that this wasn't just a "hi, how are you" phone call. She needed me (I love to be needed, but usually I'm the needy one).

Kenny's headstone had been installed today and she asked me to stop by and look at it "one day" and let her know if it was okay (she lives 3 and 1/2 hours away). I said "I'll go right now and call you back," jumped in the truck and was there in five minutes. The headstone is nice; it's simple in design --- except for that Gator (UF) in the middle. But isn't it great that people can express themselves on such a once revered object?

Also at the grave site are two "foot stones" (??); one at Kenny's feet w/ his first and middle names, birth date and death date. There's also one where one day (hopefully a very long time from now) my wonderful friend Ann will "rest." It has her first and middle names and birth date with space for her, well, I don't have to say it.

When I called her back, I said, "I really wasn't expecting to see 'your' name carved in stone." She had intended to tell me about that but had forgotten. It was definitely a strong jolt of "reality" or "mortality." Seeing Ann's commitment to her husband go beyond "until death do us part," reminded me of the empty space in her heart that will never be filled and I could almost feel the intensity of her pain.

I didn't cry or even get weepy at the cemetery. But I hurt physically -- my heart felt really heavy, almost like gravity was pulling at it. Having gotten to the "acceptance" phase of grieving for Kenny, my mind won't allow me to think about him very much. It's still too painful for me so I can only imagine how it is for my friend Ann.

As I was leaving the cemetery I saw a cat standing on an elaborate headstone and I asked him (in my head -- can't let people see me talking to a cat), "how many lives do you have left?" He even looked like Thomasina (I just really dated myself)! He didn't answer me, but he reminded me that we all have only ONE life; even Thomasina and this distant cousin; and I feel like I'm wasting mine.


liberal army wife said...

here's another mom.

Mel's Mom said...

Strange how a heart can physically hurt that way, isn't it? Sounds like your a good friend to her.

Michele said...

Nicely put, Jo Ann, you wrote that well. You are a true friend.