I didn't think that I was feeling much inspired today about anything. My friend Shirley (with her husband Cliff above) passed away on Saturday. She hadn't been well for a while, and the last time I spoke with her, she could barely breath. But she never lost her sense of humor, her feisty kiss my a** attitude, her appetite for cookies and her love of gambling. Only person I ever knew that bet money on Survivor every season! I met her where I work, she was 57 then and had recently lost her youngest son to suicide. She needed to occupy her time and get back to living. We bonded almost immediately, we both had a wacky sense of humor, valued common sense, loved animals, had messed up Mothers and a 'bite me' attitude. She lost her husband to cancer 4 years ago. She cared for him herself right up until the very end. I told her she had more strength than she could ever imagine and she told me later "I guess you were right". She had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and I always knew when she was about to get pneumonia or sick and would her make go to the doctors, she'd come back from the doctor's saying 'You always know, even my doctor is impressed, what would I do without you'. I knew the last time I talked to her too, but I just couldn't bring myself to accept it. Shirley's back home with her hubby of 50 years and her son, so I know she's very happy. She told me once that I reminded her of herself except that it took her a little longer to develop the bite me attitude. So I realized that with Shirley I got to actually see myself at her age. She showed me my future of shorts, and it's a message I take to heart. I was proud to be her friend and enjoyed every conversation, rehash of Hell's Kitchen and laugh we ever had together, not to mention the hundreds of cookies we ate. So Shirley inspires me once again today to live life with no regrets. She didn't want a do over on her life, and she lived every minute of it the best she could , crap and all. She did her way and so shall I. So damn the torpedoes and bring on the Fudge Striped Keebler Cookies!
Till we meet again, Love yah Shirl.