On a beautiful fall day I found myself at a funeral service for a good friend from my married life. Cancer took a sudden turn for the worse and it became fatal. The Sheffield gang from 57th St. was assembled and the good old days were evoked when no one had lost their hair, or gained weight and we knew our children to be above average.
Dorit and I were very different people, unlikely friends, although united by a common address and young children. She wore t-shirts and was the epitome of casual. She exemplified the carefree spirit so remarkable among Israelis to live for today as tomorrow is uncertain. As for me, I longed to be glamorous and always overdressed. So today I did what wasn’t easy for me and in her honor wore a casual t-shirt dress.
Besides seeing old friends, the afternoon was not without random thoughtfulness. My ex surprised me by bringing me a glass of wine and a server told me that I had beautiful eyes. I saw my daughters who I never tire of adoring. The food was great and artfully arranged by Anna and crew. And the universe arranged for the weather to be superb. As I left the premises overcome with a heaviness born from so much emotion, I noticed the courtyard resplendent with a soft afternoon sun and suddenly the world felt less harsh.
All this makes me think about the people we choose to have in our lives. It is said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So maybe it’s heaven sent to have people who challenge our beliefs and bring a new perspective to our thinking. During my divorce I remember Dorit telling me to not worry – that it would all work out – which amounted to the impossible for me at that time. It took me years to hear what she had been saying. Thankfully I had the impulse while she was battling cancer to tell her that I finally understood her wisdom. It had worked out, just not as I had planned. Believing that every human being appreciates a sincere expression of gratitude, I’ve taken the habit of thanking people when they least expect it.
Dorit took broken plates and created beautifully artistic mosaics from the fragments. As I continue periodically to ponder the loss and rejection in my life, I hope to remember this woman who had the innate understanding that we can always find a newly inspired way to make something whole again.