Monday, October 04, 2010

Waiting for My Sunrise

A year ago, Nevada died. I will never forget that morning. I'd slept poorly the night before and was up super early, anxiously waiting to hear her condition. Knowing in my head that things were looking pretty bad, but my heart was in no way ready to accept the unthinkable. That she'd actually die.

But in a cruel twist of fate, she'd essentially died, while having a surgery that was to save her life, and truly her only treatment option worth the risk. My highly intelligent friend, was a glimmer of her former self with her MoyaMoya.

Although her brain was under constant duress, she was Nevada till the end. Shaving her head into a mohawk before surgery, joking how funny it would be to die in a plane crash on her way to Califorina. We laughed about the absurdity of that situation, and I hugged her goodbye never knowing it would be our last conversation.

In the weeks after her death, I numbly wandered through the shell of my life. The hole she left felt like a crater. I saw her nearly daily. We talked every day on our long walks and after the walks, I'd make her dinner and we'd have a few beers. How could somebody so present in life be suddenly gone?

I struggled for months. Wasn't sleeping, I drank to much, and some days when I came to work, I'd look down, surprised at my outfit because I didn't remember getting dressed.

When New Year's Eve rolled around, I was having a truly dark night and although I felt sucicidal, I made one resolution. "Do not kill self."

Beyond that, happiness was reserved for other people. It was a foreign concept. How was I supposed to laugh again? When one of the greatest people I'd ever met in my life was gone forever?

The one thing Nevada and I talked about a lot, was my lonliness. My lack of a boyfriend. She took on my love life with two hands and a bull whip. She'd made it her personal mission to find me a man of my own. She'd been in a relationship for a few years, and wanted nothing more than for me to find that too.

I admire many things about Nevada. Her loyalty, her deep love for her boyfriend, for her friends and for her family. The way she embraced life with two hands, and was able to live in the present moment as it came and didn't waste a lot of time, dwelling on the past.

Another passion that we shared in our friendship was our love of writing. And although I used to really love it, that part of me, has been shut down for a long time. After she died, I couldn't read (which I love) or write, or do much more than breathe.

Nevada was much more dilligent in her efforts and I always found that inspiring, but I was full of excuses as to why I hadn't started writing my own novel, while she was in the middle of her second.

As the next chapter of my life begins, I know Nevada and I aren't over. She'd written to me in her first book:

"Kelly, Each New Sunrise is a chance to finish your book." (her book, was Waiting for the Sunrise.")

Nevada may not be here, but she is everywhere. And I can't think of a better way to honor her, than by making myself happy by finally writing my memoir.

I wish her story had a different ending. But somebody needs to write OUR story, and I'm finally ready. And maybe in the meantime, I'll wake to watch the sunrise.


Erin Q. Hartman said...

This is sad stuff, I am sorry!

Anonymous said...

When you can remember your "passion" for anything after such a loss--you are standing on the brink of the healing process. Write your heart out!