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Someone special.

Saying goodbye is always hard. And even harder, when you’re the one staying behind. We said goodbye to very good friends last week who returned to their home country after many years here in France.  For now I’m  sad, but tomorrow or the day after or next week, all will be OK again and I will start planning our visit to Australia. A friendship with such deep roots, cannot be pulled out.

…may the road always rise up to meet you…

goodbye

Sometimes people come into our lives who leave a distinct impression, who change our lives for the better and we only realize it much later.

Joanna came into mine years ago and added so much richness to my life, which I only fully realize now. We were so different, yet shared so much. We were tolerant und understanding of those differences and appreciated the uniqueness of each of our personalities. Those differences even started  rubbing off, making us enjoy what we’ve previously disliked.  We were frequently off to les brocantes, searching for rose coloured glass for her and old stuff for me. We would stroll through nursery gardens and rescue half dead plants  to see them bloom in our gardens the next season. We had lunches in little hamlets and drove all the wayout for a chocolate dessert. We “coffieed and caked” whenever the opportunity showed itself. We disagreed on movies and cracked up with Mamma mia. I tagged along in her search for clothing and she told me to wear brighter colours. I listened patiently when she ranted about Air France and she got me out of bed when I was depressed. I supported her in her cardmaking and she constantly encouraged me in my art. We baked tarte tatin and searched for new pressed veggie juice recipes.

She saw me when I was happy and gay and handed me the tissues when the world was all wrong. She saw my house when it was sparkling and smelling of roses and she washed my dishes when it started crawling out the door. I saw her when she was beautifully coiffed and I saw her when she was digging up the garden. I saw her when she went through chemo and I saw her when we celebrated her first clear check up and we laughingly celebrated with a coffee and cupcake. She pulled weeds from my garden while she was sick and I prepared dinners for those difficult chemo times. I took photos of her without her hair and we played around with wigs and bandanas. I took photos of her after her hair had grown back and we laughed about the impact of time.

Thinking of Joanna makes me smile. She talks a lot, she jokes a lot, she teases a lot,  she laughs alot. She turns passivity into action. She can’t grow old for her spirit is too young. Like her,  I want to laugh a lot and joke a lot and tease and I also don’t want to grow old, because my spirit will be too young.

10 responses

  1. What a special friendship Ronell, both of your lives truly enriched – how painful to say goodbye, but only for a while, at least! She sounds wonderful, as are you – hope you get together again soon and may you both stay, as the song goes, forever young!

    April 20, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  2. What a great story of friendship…. I too hope you both live long and maintain those youthful spirits. Off to find the Kleenex now.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm

  3. Sorry you are going to miss your dear friend Ronell.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

  4. paintingsprintsandstuff

    what a lovely write up – she’s going to need the Kleenex when she reads this!

    it’s so nice to have friends like that through good and bad

    April 20, 2009 at 9:49 pm

  5. You are both so fortunate and blessed to have the deep friendship that you both share with each other and it sounds like the miles between you won’t distance or dilute your friendship for one moment because friendships like the one you’ve described last a lifetime! Your post is a beautiful tribute to what friendship truly means.

    April 21, 2009 at 12:10 am

  6. annie

    Dear Ronell, what a beautiful picture you have painted of a
    special and deep friendship. It’s hard to say an initial goodbye, but I think that you will keep that feeling of togetherness, each of you, and that it will create a comfort for
    you as you write each other. And as you probably know, some servers combine great email and phone services. A friend in the U.K. once phoned me in Texas on Talktalk.net., I think it was. Whatever, what wonderful years lay ahead for you both to share.

    April 21, 2009 at 9:23 am

  7. caseytoussaint

    I hope she reads this. I’m sure you’ll stay in touch – don’t forget skype! And what a wonderful excuse to go to Australia.

    April 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm

  8. Oh how much love is in your post. and if and when you come to Australia, LET ME KNOW. We will all have coffee together.

    April 22, 2009 at 12:16 am

  9. Ooops. That’s me in the comment above, in another guise. :-)

    April 22, 2009 at 12:18 am

  10. The wonderful thing about such close friendships is that no matter how much time flows between you, when you meet again it’s a though you’ve never been apart.

    Australia! Now there’s somewhere I’d like to visit!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm

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