for emilie

Emilie darling,
I loved you like a sister. I asked you to be my matron of honor because you were one of the closest, dearest friends I’ve ever had–and probably ever will. I feel somehow as though part of my soul is missing now that you are gone; a void has opened that, I know, will never close. All of our other friends have written so eloquently about what you meant to them, about how you will be missed. But for all that you encouraged me to become a writer (nagged, occasionally!) I cannot seem to do likewise. My heart feels like lead, my eyes continually fill with tears, and my mind is a mushy fog. I flounder, helplessly, to find words adequate to express my feelings. So, instead, I am copying the words of a writer far more able than I:

We Remember Them

In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
we remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring,
we remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,
we remember them.
In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn,
we remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength,
we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart,
we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share,
we remember them.
So long as we live, they too shall live,
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
–Jewish prayer

I loved you, Emilie. I only pray that you knew just how much. May God bless and keep you, now and forever.

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the post with no name

I can’t come up with a name for this post. Is it because I’m still in shock? My mind doesn’t seem to be functioning at full speed the last few days (well, actually, that’s not entirely abnormal, but right now I feel that I need my mind to click on for once). A couple of days ago I found out that my dear friend and former matron of honor, Emilie, has cancer. Which is impossible. I just saw her a week ago at her adorable little son’s first birthday party. She looked so pretty, so happy. And I felt so envious (yes, I’m a shit–it’s just that I want a baby of my own so desperately). Now, only a few days later, this.

I am really angry with You, God, over this.

I keep thinking about what a horrible word “cancer” is. Look at how we use it in everyday language. “The Justice Department is a cancer growing on our democracy.” “She flashed him a malignant look, and he knew there would be no hanky-panky tonight.” I mean, it’s as though the damn word takes on a life of its own, becoming yet another burden those afflicted by the disease have to carry around.

Sorry, I know I’m rambling…

My heart is just bleeding for Emilie and Stephen and little Daniel. I love them like family and just cannot believe this is happening.

Emilie, I’ve got my aunties and the Jesuits (New Orleans Province Prayer Circle, that is) praying for you, and George’s family, and George and me, of course. I wish I could carry some of this burden for you, dear. If I could have my way, I’d take it and carry it all for you myself. You are the last person in the world this should happen to. Please remember that we will be here for you every minute of every day.

You CAN do this. You are not your cancer. You are still the same beautiful Emilie as always.

it’s a boy!!!!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS to my friends Emilie and Steve, who finally had their baby this afternoon!!!!!!!! (I found out tonight because George just went out for a beer with Steve’s brother Bruce, who is also a good friend of ours and was best man at our wedding. It helps to have friends in high places.) The anxiously awaited baby, who goes by the name of Daniel Joseph, clocked in at 8 lbs., 7 oz., according to my sources. Mom and baby are both doing fine.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the please and thank you prayer

Three years ago today my friends Emilie and Steve were married at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in St. Paul, MN. Happy Anniversary guys!!!! I met Emilie and Steve through a mutual friend–Steve’s brother Bruce, in fact–the same day I met my husband. Little did I know that day that less than two years later we’d all wind up married!
Their wedding was absolutely beautiful (how could it not be, with Emilie as the bride?) and I felt very honored when they asked me to read. (My reading was from the Song of Songs; luckily for me, not the one about the leaping gazelle, so I was able to keep a straight face.) What I remember most clearly, however, is the “please and thank you prayer” for married couples Fr. O’Connell recommended during his homily. Take a quiet moment together and light a candle. Each person in turn asks God for an intention, then each mentions one thing for which they are grateful. That’s it; very simple (which, of course, is the beauty of it). Praying together does a lot to bring couples closer to each other and to God, and the two elements of the prayer remind us what really matters in our lives together.
Now, if I could just get George to do it with me…

*sigh*

This is Steve and Emilie with George and me last New Year’s Eve:

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