Saturday, January 5, 2008

The San Francisco Moment

The blog may seem to have turned into a logbbook, but I have a point in sharing my San Francisco adventure. I will fully flesh it out in the book, but the trip has been multilayered and revelatory. The voyage, the stay and the departure were all one big moment of Marcie.

As I have shared with Jane and Christi, and which Jane already knew, the world Marcie lived in was divided into realms. Work people only rarely met family. Family and friends mixed sparingly or not at all. Lastly, the spouse was not to get to close to, or to interact too much with, the girlfriends.

There were some exceptions, to be true. I occasionally got to spend limited amounts of time with Tom and Chrissy Patterson before they moved to the Midwest, Jane was a common and welcome guest (though I was often shooed away by Marcie) and Lisa and I often enjoyed long calls. Tanya was persistent and had known us both as neighbors, so Marcie was occasionally willing to interact with me in tow. But, when it came down to it, I was generally cut out of girlfriends' lives. I took an interest in their activities, but she kept the wall there.

That changed as Marcie became ill. I met Walt, Lisa's boyfriend, now husband, and we went sailing with them and had dinner, something I greatly enjoyed. Calls and visits with her girlfriends became longer, more personal and connective.

But Jane remained largely a mystery, as did Christi, a person I met once and heard of several times and had even heard a story or two about (when I was not told to go out and surf or to leave Marcie with Jane in peace). Jane was the near-sister who occasionally summoned Marcie to her side for joy and merryment, support and indulgence.

But I started to really discover Jane and Christi before the memorial, then at it, then after it as we cleaned up the wake. I knew I wanted to visit them in San Francisco when they offered to have me up. Then I truly began to understand a little about why Marcie loved them so.

Jane, Jason, Christi and their whole world unfolded before me, and with it, a special corner of Marcie's life, that "magic trip" that always lifted her spirits. So, I may call Christi and Jane angels, but it may be because they showed me just what Marcie's heaven could look, feel, taste and sound a lot like. The experience was at least in part due to Marcie herself. Not simply because she was such a friend to Jane, though.

In Marcie's world and in any given realm within it, everything was always planned, usually thoughtfully so. When Marcie summoned me from my exile (for their girl time) to see Jane to her car, she told Jane and I before we left that she wanted us to stay in touch and support each other, no matter what happened to her. It was a devastating thing to hear, as we both still expected a good outcome, and it meant she felt her way of living and separating her social groups was no longer serving any good purpose. It was a tough walk to the car.

In that little dictate, she gave me the greatest inheritance she had, the last of her friends. In so doing, she let me out of my box and then told me where to find more of her to love, in San Francisco.



Teej said...

What a beautiful post. I found your blog a couple of weeks ago while researching post-hospice experiences of family members, and I eagerly await your updates.