Ten days ago, content in the knowledge that the world was not coming to an end, I was really enjoying my new hobby of blogging. My kids were having fun with our "Mensch on the Mantle." I was feeling the rush of doing something creative, chronicling our adventure, and reveling in the excitement of an actual comment appearing on my little blog. I was also in the middle of preparing for a fabulous party when I heard the devastating news about Sandy Hook. The tenderloin was ordered, the champagne was chilling, the flowers were perfectly arranged, and the candles were just waiting to be lit, but it all felt somehow wrong.
I thought of something I learned long ago. The last night of Chanukah (which was the next day) is always the darkest night of the year. That is the night we light all of the candles and bring the most light we can into the world. Everyday thereafter the sun shines just a little longer--the world will incrementally be brighter. I felt so much better remembering that and thinking, "This is the worst it is going to be." We went forward and had a somewhat more sedate evening than we may have otherwise. According to the musician I "nailed" the party. I was glad he thought so, though I am still not jovial enough to post what few pictures I took. At least I gave a little escape to a few of my friends for a few hours.
I have many friends from all stages of my life and I cherish each one. While I am not sure anymore who my definitive “best friend” is, I am lucky to have many friends who are the best. Some of them are simply woven into the fabric of my life in every way possible way.
It is that way with my friend B and her husband. We had double dates before we were married, and as newlyweds our first houses were right around the corner from each other so that we shared many nightly walks. It was while babysitting for their daughter that David and I decided we wanted to start a family--their second daughter and our first are just six weeks apart. The girls are great friends. After Annabelle had her first seizure, we were told that she may have trouble acquiring new language. I was on pins and needles for her to say a new word--any new word. As fate would have it, it was B's name. No sound was ever so delicious (by the way, that girl has more than enough to say). Over the years there have been lake trips, family camps, and even a grown-up get away to Hawaii together. Together we have celebrated Christenings, Jewish baby Namings, birthday parties, holidays, and annual outings to the pumpkin patch. While we both moved from our first homes, we are in a new neighborhood less than a mile apart. B, our other friend B, and I had lunch nearly everyday while our kids were in preschool. We have shared carpool duties and planned class parties. We have gotten to know and love each other's parents on their many trips here. When I was in the hospital last year my kids had a "weeknight sleepover" at B's house that is still mentioned with awe! I am certain she will be at my girls bat mitzvahs and their weddings--I. am. certain.
That is why I feel like the world stopped for just a moment last Monday when my dear sweet friend B had an unexplained seizure and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Echoing my own thoughts from a few days earlier, I kept