My friend Maggie passed away last week.
It is hard to believe that the world will not be graced with this 5’12” (her words) vivacious redhead anymore.
I hadn’t seen her in years, didn’t get to know her husband, her children. But we had a moment in time.
Our moment was in Portland. It was front porches, and themed-parties, and the Columbia Gorge. It was laughter and beer and bars and Nike. It was generosity and love.
Maggie loved me (and I her). But my love made a little more sense (I thought) – here she was – this amazing, vibrant, dynamic, professional woman. She was always put together and came from a loving family and had this great group of friends. And yet, she loved me. Me – this messy, sometimes sad, sometimes fucked-up person.
And yet, she loved me.
We were partners in crime. In fact, at one point, I think she hung out with this guy just so I could hang out with his friend who I liked so much. She wasn’t sacrificing herself, but she saw the fun in the world and was ready to throw down and be there for a friend.
She was generous to a degree I hadn’t yet experienced. She was generous with cash, as I never had any (she bought me my first pair of Chacos – that I have since gotten re-soled 3 times!).
But, more than that, she was generous with love. She got it. She knew that there was no such thing as running out of love. And she showered me with it. She saw the scarcity in my life and knew that she could fill that space with friendship and love. And I gave her space to be someone different who she was. We went on adventures together, we laughed, we spent so. many. good moments together.
I will always be so grateful to this amazing, generous, funny, kind woman.
I remember sitting with her one night – and her telling me about all the women in her family who had cancer, who were fighting cancer. And she told me, with tears in her eyes, that she knew she would get it. She would have cancer at some point in her life. That it was inevitable.
I was young, I didn’t have the words to try to navigate that world, but I’ve always remembered it. Especially in the last few days.
And life moves on, right? The world keeps spinning.
In my own life, I am negotiating the boundaries of a new relationship with a man whom I like very much. But, he is doing that thing where he opens up and then closes back down. Gives a little, then almost nothing.
Isn’t generous with his time, sees me just when it works for him. Drops some crumbs and let’s me pick them up.
And if Mags taught me anything, it’s this: go for the whole fucking cake. The whole cake, always.
Life should be full of love and generosity and laughter.
The whole fucking cake.
Peace to you Mags, I love you.