Friday, August 31, 2007

Is this freaky factoid 3 or 4? I've forgotten

Well, what ever number we're on.....
I have been obsessed with Princess Diana since 1980. Oddly enough, today is the 10th anniversary of her death and I still cannot believe it. In 1980 we were both young women about to be married. She was getting married in July of 1981 and I was getting married a little over a week later. I worked two jobs to pay for my wedding and well, we know all about hers. I switched days off with another person at work so I could get up in the middle of the night (dang time difference) and watch her wedding with the rest of the world, although I'm quite sure that I didn't tell my co-worker that was the reason I wanted to switch days. I was so taken with her. I think at one point I even believed that we would be friends if we could ever meet. Yeah, fat chance of that ever happening. As her wedding procession begin I could not believe that she was having Trumpet Voluntary played....that's what I was going to walk down the aisle to!!!!! Oh I just knew we were kindred souls at this point. My in-laws didn't think I was good enough for their son and she was going through the same situation as well. Why, I may have even thought I looked a bit like her. (talk about being delusional)
So it happened that we honeymooned in Europe. First stop....LONDON. I couldn't believe it. Since the wedding had just been the week prior, there were still decorations everywhere. Huge baskets of flowers and banners were on lampposts and buildings all over London and of couse there was no shortage of souvenirs and I purchased many of them.
I have almost every book written about her, have paper dolls, a porcelain Princess Diana Bride doll, a postage stamp collection, coins, and a few buttons.
Like everyone else in the world, I remember distinctly where I was and what I was doing the day she died. I stayed up and watched the television all evening and into the next day. I cried at her funeral and wanted to hug those two boys with all my might. I just didn't seem real. She was a princess and things like this weren't supposed to happen to them.

That's it for the freaky factoid for tonight, but it does make me think about yesterday. I had a friend of over 20 years who committed suicide last April. She was one of the most amazing, funny, and smart people I have ever known. We were nurses together and back in the day we really thought we were going to save the world and everyone in it. Oh we had stars in our eyes, that's for sure. Leah was a remarkable woman. We both had 3 kids, almost the same age and when the two of us were together, it was like a comedy show. Except of course when we were working, and then we were quite "professional" and nurse like. Whatever that means. I knew she had her demons, I knew she battled them for years, but I wasn't aware that they were so strong, and that they would eventually take her away from all of us who loved her. Yesterday I met with her best friend for lunch and we talked about her for over an hour. We talked about how we were working through our grief, how the kids were working through theirs and where we go from here. I cannot tell you how honored I was at the end of this meeting to be given a portion of Leah's ashes. For her family to give me a part of her was probably one of the most meaningful expressions of love I think I have every received. I have thought of little else since then. I miss Leah. I miss her laugh, I miss her voice.....I miss everything about her. I still feel guilty that I was in Costa Rica when she died and not here. But that won't bring her back. Leah, you were one of the finest flight nurses in this country, and nursing is not the same without you. The world as I know it is not the same without you. You are loved, and you are missed.


Eleanor said...

My mother in law never had a good word to say about Diana, which made me love her all the more (Diana, not MIL).
Sad about your friend, do we ever really know the inside out of anyone? Perhaps we're not meant to.
How's your chest now? Better I hope. Think I'm all caught up now. Oh, and I posted a comment earlier without logging my 11 yr old out, sorry, hope you weren't too confused.

Anne said...

Sending you a (((HUG))) while you remember your friend Ruth... been in your shoes a couple of times in my life. 10 Years I can laugh about it, but I too remember what I was doing when I got the news about Di - I was doing a home pregnancy test and I went and I was shaking so much I dropped the darn thing down the loo!!