This is really not going to mean much to anyone that doesn't understand The Backstory. Oh those backstories.
Rachel was laid to rest this past weekend. Several of our blogger buddies were in attendance. The memorial service was streaming live. I watched from my home on my computer screen. I had to leave shortly after the second half began. Tears spilled from my eyes as I listened to what her family had to say. Sometimes, laughing through the tears.
Sarah Horton opened the memorial with most beautiful thoughts explaining how she came to meet Rachel. They met in the blogosphere. And they quickly became the closest of friends. This past October, on what is designated as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness DAY in the midst of Pinktober, Rachel and Sarah let us share in their friendship. Rachel wrote about Sarah. Likewise, Sarah wrote about Rachel.
Don't even get me started on a path of ONE DAY being dedicated to raise awareness of WHY women die of breast cancer. ONE DAY? Hell, in ten days, three people are gone from my life as a result of Metastatic Disease.
I just want to make a few observations about a couple of things that happened over the past week. First, I was feeling really really really REALLY exceptionally horribly shitty last Monday. At some point after learning about Rachel but before hearing about Susan, I found an email. It was from Rachel. It was over a week old. "Let's Skype." It was difficult for Rachel to type. A Skype talk would be much easier and far more fun. Seeing that email hours after she was gone destroyed me. I was crushed. I tried to put it out of my head. On Saturday, it was in my face again.
Rachel's wake and memorial service took place in New Jersey. It is a two hour drive from my home. I wanted to go on Friday. As the week progressed, I grew more and more weary. My own backstories. I was overcome by fatigue. There was no way I could make the drive to Jersey. I went to bed reasonably early on Friday night and still, I didn't awaken until noon on Saturday. Within 30 minutes, I was on my laptop watching the stream.
Approximately 90 minutes into the memorial, I had to leave. I was in my car, saddened. I tend to get a bit weird in the car and I was thinking about everything, but in this moment, it was mostly about Rachel. Firstly, I missed the Skype opportunity because I have over two-freakin-thousand emails. (I'm reminded of a line in Sex and The City movie, "There was no better time I could think of to hire an assistant...." remembering that the hired assistant was played by Jennifer Hudson.... one more weird-ish thing.... keep reading.....) Secondly, I had to leave the "memorial" shortly after Sarah began speaking in the second half of the service. I was pretty irritated with myself and began doing this bargaining thing I tend to do hoping I could summon some weird-ish thing to enable me to stop beating myself up over all of my shortfalls.
I think I was having a bit of a conversation in my head with Rachel while I was driving. I have no business doing anything other than giving the road my full attention of late, but still, my mind was on Rachel as I flipped through the radio stations. Suddenly, I heard the middle of a familiar song from Jefferson Airplane...... the song is called Volunteers of America and the line that was being sung as I hit that station? "Got a revolution, got to revolution." Like I said, I get weird with the car and the radio and when I need guidance, if a song comes on the radio that is so blatantly attached to the thoughts in my head.... well.... I GET Weird. Having referred to the collective group as Rachel's Rebels in one of my posts from last week, the weight lifted.
Later that day, I thought about how happy I was to know that Sarah traveled all the way from Liverpool. Gayle, Kathi and Stacey were there representing all of us which made me equally happy. I began poking around all of the blogs. You know how that goes, one blog and the comments lead to another blog and those comments to yet one more blog and suddenly four hours have passed and it's 3AM and I'm still reading. I realized that the post I wrote for Gayle at her invitation had comments from both Rachel and Susan. In some odd way, that comforted me. It's more of my weird-ness.... like the radio thing.
Last night, I settled down to watch the Grammy's. I'm not usually an award show whore. However, with Whitney Houston passing away just one day prior, I simply had to watch the show. In its entirety. To see Bruce Springsteen open the show was a reminder of something Sarah said one day earlier about her visit to the states to stay with Rachel. She mentioned that they visited the Stone Pony and sadly, Bruce wasn't there. (If you have no knowledge of Bruce, Stone Pony is a "club" on the Jersey Shore......Springsteen started there and sometimes shows up there STILL, unannounced and impromptu and much to the obvious delight of anyone fortunate enough to be hanging out on one of those nights)
Still glued to the television, I watched that heart wrenching performance by Jennifer Hudson (told you to keep reading) singing in tribute to Whitney. Complete sidebar and just one more odd thing? The day before Whitney died, Jennifer was being interviewed and she was talking about how the most thrilling moment in her life was having Whitney Houston present her with her grammy award. How Whitney inspired her. One day later, Whitney is gone and Jennifer, who was not scheduled to perform was being asked to sing, "I Will Always Love You." Talk about grace under pressure and keeping it together in the face of sheer heartbreak. It was like what Sarah did on Saturday afternoon for Rachel.
This is all oddly connected in some other weird-ish radio-esque stupid way. It's the way my brain zig zags and connects the dots..... What is the connection.....Why does the Grammy Award Show that aired last night have any significance to anything this Monday morning??
You see, while the show opened with a performance by Bruce Springsteen from Rach's neck of the woods in New Jersey, the show closed with a performance by Paul McCartney. Sir Paul of Liverpool..... Sarah's neck of the woods. And as the final notes were being played, Bruce Springsteen was back on the stage. Both he and Paul McCartney strumming their guitars which they both soon lifted into the air as I listened to the final words.....
And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make......
Much love left this planet on Monday. While our hearts may be broken, they are filled with that very same love.....
Yes, In the end, the love you take IS equal to the Love You Make.......