The last time I saw my friend Lynn, we were laughing. I don’t know – you might not think it’s funny. The conversation was about irony, and death. I said that I hope my last words on Earth are something really special, like I’ll be very old and in my death bed, and my future husband will have his arms around me and I’ll say something like, I loved our life or thank you for the best life or some other hopelessly romantic thing-a-ma-gig, while suffering for endless hours before the end… and not oh, shit! like something out of an Adam Sandler movie.
Lynn said, “I hope I go quick with no last words at all.”
She died in a car accident on Monday.
Life is just so full of irony. This conversation started because I was telling her about another woman in our school district who had a tragic end a year ago. And the reason we were inappropriately laughing at first, was because that was what we were about. I would come to visit the people in the office at Lake Street Elementary because I so missed seeing them – I worked there part of the week for ten years, but I’m at the middle school now. I’d pop in now and again just to bother them with silly stories of middle school angst-comedy and junk about my personal life.
Lynn even fell out of her chair laughing at least once that I can remember.
That last conversation ended with a hug and kiss on the cheek (and happy tears) because I said, “If anything like what happened to Colleen should ever happen to me, I want you to know how much you mean to me, how much I value our friendship, and that I love and appreciate you.”
And she said, “Right back atch ya, kid.”
Closure is a funny thing, isn’t it? I seem to be able to say I love you to everyone regularly except my immediate family. I guess I don’t ever think I will ever lose them for some reason. It might be the spirituality in me, the idea that we will pick up where we left off when we are all in heaven or wherever we go when we are just light energy balls or what have you.
The way my family works is that the love is implied with bickering that results in comedy gold – stories to tell for centuries at the Thanksgiving lunch table.
I just think it is important to live life with love. Art is love. Life is love. My summer has been the best summer of my life for many reasons. It is kind of like – not just a new chapter in the book of my life, but more of a sequel – Karen Tashkovski-Visual Artist Part 2 or something like that. But for Lynn there are no more chapters. It’s over and that is just so difficult for me to comprehend. Her journey is complete and that doesn’t really seem fair.
Going back to school will be challenging now because this type of tragedy affects people in different ways. I’m hoping it brings us all closer together. That we will remember to care about each other more. Remember to always be kind and grateful for the experiences we share. That the universe puts people together for a reason and it’s not always the reason you think. It could be learning or it could just be friendship.
At the end of every year, I tell my students that I will always be here for them if they ever need me in the future. Meaning to assist them with preparing a portfolio or to listen to their stories about the high school. I say it with such conviction that I know it will happen – unless I win the lottery and become a philanthropist and fairy godmother. Now, that would make a great chapter in my book. Yeah, I would totally read that book.
Calling hours are tomorrow from 5-8 pm at Zimmer Funeral Home in Chittenango, NY. The funeral is Tuesday at 10 am at St. Patrick’s Church in Chittenango.
Donations for the funeral arrangements will be accepted here –http://www.gofundme.com/aj2959ws