Today is the birthday of my best friend Lisa.  She is no longer with us.  She lost her battle with Bile duct cancer in October of 2009.  I think we all agree that cancer sucks.  There are a million things to say about how shitty cancer is, but not that many words that can truly express how much you can miss one person in your life.  Having my son has made me think even more about how much she would have loved  …. this….all these events that happen, how life keeps going…    In any case, I would like to raise a glass (at this early time of day, just a cold cup of java 😉  – the champs will be later for my girl)  to Lisa.  A spirit like none other.  Sure wish you all could have met her.    Here is an inspired piece I wrote for her two years ago when I was still living in NM,  right before her birthday.


May 16, 2010 at 6:54pm ·

I listened to NPR on the drive home from Albuquerque today. I know. I’m a nerd. They had a wonderful segment on home movies. Anyway David Sedaris had this beautiful and touching commentary on why home movies are important; how they can capture people you love in a moment and you can have that with you forever. He was discussing how his mother hated her picture taken, and never let anyone film her, but they caught her once and watched the movie over and over after she died. What touched me so much was his description of the days after her death where he and his siblings would “stand in the living room sniffing her hairbrush” or alternately smelling her pillows, her sweater, her coat. In fact, it touched me so much I cried. My dearest friend Lisa passed away in October from a quick and brutal cancer, and I hadn’t been able to bring myself to go back to her house until recently. I visited her father a few weeks ago at her house (my house as a roommate for many years), and asked to check her closet for a shirt Heather and I were wanting to keep. A whitesnake T-shirt in fact. Lisa had a thing for bad eighties band T-shirts. I searched and the shirt was nowhere to be found. It was then that I stopped and held a row of all her silly tank tops (Victoria’s Secret, Vampire Chic, I Heart My Attitude Problem – all her ridiculous phrases she would wear) and put them to my nose. I breathed in deeply.
I spent a good ten minutes in there just breathing in Lisa. The sense of smell linked to memory is an amazing and powerful thing. Like how your parent’s house always smells like home. Or your sister’s perfume takes you back to the time you picked her up at the airport and you couldn’t stop laughing. It was nice to know I’m not the only wierdo smelling the clothing of the deceased.
David Sedaris made me feel normal.

Lisa’s birthday is coming up. My friends Kim and Steve are driving her beloved convertable across country to her childhood home in New Hampshire to give it to her niece. They will be scattering her ashes on her birthday at a waterfall she loved. I wish I could be there. I always proclaimed that I hate change. That really isn’t true at all. I like change. I appreciate it. My gypsy style of moving has taught me that. What I really hate is losing great people.

Lisa in her convertible.