Tuesday 30 June 2009
Tears and Laughter
Loads to say - have been on hols and will catch up with everything else asap, but this post is just a memorial to my Best Friend Forever, Pat Powell, who died suddenly 8 years ago today.
It was an equally gloriously scorching June day in 2001 and I wasn't there. I was helping ma-in-law move house and didn't know. It seems impossible that I've now lived for 8 years without Pat. It also seems impossible that my life has changed so much without her. I've had to do so many things differently. Having a Pat-less life was something I'd never even thought about. No-one prepares you for losing a best friend.
We'd been best friends since we were 16 - we did everything together, worked together, went on holiday together, saw each other all the time and spoke on the phone several times a day. Pat was my social life; she was my happiness and laughter; and the kindest, most loyal and generous person I've ever known. Today I cried for her - I still miss her so much - I've got loads of friends, really good friends who I cherish, but you only ever have one lifelong best friend - and there'll never be another Pat.
Pat and I had always decided we were going to die when we were 97 and we were going to have a joint funeral with blue and yellow flowers, lots of rock music, champagne and cream slices (our favourite indulgence). So this afternoon, on this sweltering sultry day, I've been doing what I've done each June 30th for 8 years, sitting in the garden on Pat's special seat (an ancient bench, crumbling now but I'll never part with it), listening to AC/DC, drinking (warmish) champagne and eating a (very slippery and melting)cream slice, with my Californian poppies and lobelias providing the properly-hued floral background.
I raised my glass and my cream slice to her - and now I can say again on here what I said to her just now: "I miss you every day, I think about you every day, I still expect you to walk up the path, I still wait for your phone calls, I still hear your laughter. I hope you're happy - and please, please don't be resting in peace. Please be having the best time ever with loads of fun and giggling." Then I sniffled a lot -which would have made her very cross - so I came indoors to write this as a proper memorial.
We had "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone" played at her funeral - and today, for me, it's true.