"What are friends for, my mother asks.
a duty undone, visit missed,
casserole unbaked for sick Jane.
Someone has just made her bitter.
Nothing. They are for nothing, friends,
I think. All they do in the end--
they touch you. They fill you like music."
We were in Kansas, or Missouri maybe. Or maybe it was Florida; the trips begin to run together. It was hot--July--so hot the pool almost wasn't refreshing. The hotel rooms were cool, with their air conditioners and polyester floral print bedspreads. Katie was there with Stephanie, just a little girl. We cooed and oohed and aahed and talked babies and books and teaching. Sara was absolutely in love, besotted, with this grandbaby, and she was unselfish and generous in her willingness to share her family's joy with all of us.
The flip side is that today we share her grief. Stephanie is gone, aged 7 (just barely). And I cannot stop thinking of that day in the hotel room, with that beautiful blonde baby girl who was making her mother and grandmother so happy. Who always made her mother and grandmother so happy. I do not know what to say, or do.
But I do know that Sara and her family have touched us--me--and filled us with music. And though there are no words, I hope that they know that I am full up with and for them, and I am so very sorry.