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Grateful 40

Last night I heard that my best friend had died. She’d been trying to get hold of me all week but my phone wasn’t answering. I had been trying to get hold of her, too, and kept leaving messages on her voicemail that she never received. The last conversation we had was to plan my visit to the States to see her next month, once her mom had left. I’ll never see her again and that saddens me. It hurts so much to think that she’s no longer in my life – and I know if she could speak to me, she’d tell me to get a grip and stop crying and go do something constructive.

Lori's cherry tree

So today, I went to the orphange to see Norbert and while we were there, we planted some fruit trees and some shrubs in the garden. I named one of the cherry trees ‘Lori’ and know she’d approve.  She always was fond of cherries – particulary if they were floating on a cocktail. It was a wild and windy day. The sun struggled to come out and didn’t make an appearance until we’d finished. It was bloody cold at times, too. But everyone was in fine form. Just over three hours of back-breaking work (damn, these cameras are heavy) and all the trees and shrubs were planted. We met a few of the locals and one chap, bless him, said something to me in Hungarian that was unintelligble, walked up to me and gave me a big smacking kiss on each cheek – how did he know it was just what I needed.

We went inside to see Norbert and to look at the bed we will be replacing from the money we raised at the Gift of the Gab. When I looked at him in his cot, everything settled and I got some perspective. Things happens for a reason and while I can’t make sense of why Lori died, when our lives have run their course, that’s it. I was very fortunate to have known her, to have loved her, to have been her friend. My life is all the richer because of it. I’ll miss her dreadfully and although she’s no longer at the other end of a phone, part of her will still live inside me.

Some of those good people

That there are those less fortunate than me, I have no doubt. That there are good people in the world who are willing to devote their time and resources to make the world a better place, I am certain. That life is for living and every moment could be our last, I am mindful. Today I am grateful for having something constructive to do. For being able to make a difference, however small. For the company of good people (and a great dog). And to Lori – I will be forever grateful for the memories. May you rest in peace.