When I got the idea to start a blog, I thought I would try to keep things in chronological order but instead, I will be writing about different events that have happened over the course of my life when I'm inspired to write about those events. Recently, I placed flowers on my best friend's grave on the 16th anniversary of her death, the 5th of March. In her memory, here is my first interesting article:
When I was about 12, my cousin and best friend Nicole, passed away. This event affected me more than anything that had happened up to that point and to many extents, this holds true to present day.
The week of her death was surreal. I couldn’t believe she was gone. Each morning I woke up, thinking “It must have been a horrible nightmare” only for reality to hit me seconds later as I lost her again. Over and over each day, it slowly started sinking in that she was gone. Even a couple of years ago, I woke up on her birthday and, as though temporarily transported back into childhood, thought “Oh no! I don’t have a gift!” remembering moments later that, somewhat for my own therapeutic purposes, I would be bringing flowers to the cemetery again this year.
Before the visitation, family and close friends gathered for hugs and tears. During the public visitation, the main floor of the funeral home was reserved for droves of mourners who drifted through in a solemn line offering their condolences.
It was at this time when the kids in the family collected upstairs in the funeral home together, secretly eating mountains of squares and brownies that we had never before seen in such mass quantities. A sitting room and kitchen were located upstairs and a giant coffee carafe sat on the counter. We were mostly silent except for the occasional giggle whenever someone opened the fridge to sneak some hidden sweet or drank a sip of forbidden coffee stolen from the adults’ supply downstairs.
As we sat, we heard a loud noise coming from the coffee carafe. We hadn’t seen anyone start a new round of coffee but thought nothing of it. Bubbling and boiling, we figured that another pot had finished brewing and steam poured out from the top. We all stared in amazement as the lever that opened the spout pushed down all on it’s own. Wide-eyed, it took a moment for the two eldest to rush over and turn the pot so the nozzle was over the sink as scorching hot coffee poured out all over the floor. As we turned the pot, we noticed that it had never been plugged in at all and further inspection showed that the carafe was almost empty and its contents cold though we would all swear that what we heard sounded like a full container coming to a rolling boil. The coffee on the floor was certainly hot to the touch.
“It’s Nikki” someone said. And like nothing strange had happened, without words and with sad eyes, we all quietly agreed. Had she been alive and well, she would have been with the rest of us, upstairs goofing around and no doubt causing some sort of mischief. She would not have wanted to be left out and to this day, I believe she had to top us all by dumping coffee all over the place and as usual, we got in trouble for it - not her! I could almost hear her laughing as the owner of the funeral home gave us hell!
At the funeral home, I was given the chance to pick out a plant or vase of flowers from the many that surrounded her small casket. I chose a basket with several live plants adorned with a beautiful purple ribbon. The ideal story would be that I have an excellent green thumb and all the plants in the basket still sit thriving proudly around my home today. Of course, that’s not the case and none survived through high school. To date, I’m lucky if plants stay green for more than a year in my care (and that’s being generous!).
The plant was moved around the house quite a bit, keeping me company in my bedroom, on top of the piano in the basement and in the living room on a coffee table. One night, I sat in the dining room, frustrated with homework and missing my dear friend. Filled with emotions, I tried to snap myself out of it by focusing all my energy on one thing: the basket of plants that sat on the coffee table in the next room. I thought to myself, “I can make that plant move if I really want to,” and I sat and stared. Anger, sadness and emptiness all filled my head and my heart as I thought of my dear Nicole. For a few moments, it was as though I could feel her still there in the room with me as I had so many times before. Suddenly the plant moved, just a little at first and then, like a gust of wind had filled the room, the plant waved back and forth at me as if my loving friend was telling me, “It’s all ok. I’m still here with you.” The light, flowing curtains that hung behind the plant didn’t move an inch the entire time the plant swayed gently.
After a minute, the plant stopped and returned to it’s original static state. I never saw it move like that again. I felt a weight lift off my chest as the comfort of knowing she was still out there (or in my livingroom) somewhere made me smile. In life, we believed that more paranormal things happened when we were together. In life, she believed that when things flew off shelves, it was because of our combined energy, together, making things move. I believe that in death, she still makes things happen with me and we remain together even though she can’t be seen with the naked eye. I can always feel her with me, running through my veins; my other half forever here.