Life Musings

To the moon and back

I miss coffee shops. The kind with worn leather couches, creaky floors and plaid wearing patrons. The kind situated in a greenhouse flooded with natural lighting and floating photons. That smell of forest even on the darkest, greyest winter day. 

Family Tree Nursery, 2018

I miss the vibration of a crowd cheering for their favorite band or musician, right before they come on stage. The way the anticipation reverberates through clapping hands and stomping feet when they finally exit. How strangers unite their bodies and voices, begging for more.

Maggie Rogers concert, St. Louis 2018

I miss reading lips. I miss watching people chew gum when they are nervous or thinking especially hard. The way a smile creeps up slowly, starting at the corner of a mouth, or erupts spontaneously, all the way up to someone’s forehead. 

Disneyland, 2018

I miss the naivety of life without risk. Of squeezing into a stranger’s car after just taking a shot of tequila with my favorite friends on our way to a bar downtown to dance the night away. I miss meeting strangers.

I miss wearing makeup and putting on clothes that don’t stretch. Of making an effort to appear good to the world because I was leaving my doorstep on a regular basis to embrace it. And I wanted to be worthy of it embracing me back. 

Sometime before the era of working from home

I miss my Dad. The sound of his laughter, the crinkly way his eyes would get when he smiled with his whole face, or how concerned I’d be when they turned red and I could tell he hadn’t slept well or was tired, because my eyes do the same. 

Birthday celebrations, 2011

I miss the me who existed before my Dad died. Before I was the girl with a dead Dad. Before recycling old memories seemed so important because there were always new ones to make. 

To the moon and back, we’d say. I love you to the moon and back. But one day he didn’t come back. 

I can forgive this year, this pandemic a lot of things. 

I can live without the heart shaped coffee foam poured by a bearded barista. I’ve learned to dance and sing in my own living room without the crowd or the performance on stage. I’ve gotten better at reading half of someone’s facial expressions and looking for the nuance. 

I know that we’ve never really had life without risk. It was always there. It will always be there. It is part of what makes life good and sweet and worth living. Hell, if I’m being honest, I don’t really miss the make-up or the uncomfortable clothes.

Whale watching in Iceland, 2018

I can accept all of these losses with grace. With a resilient and brave heart. But I cannot accept the truth that he is gone. I would gladly give up the rest of it forever just to have him back. 

Part of me still believes this loss is temporary, too. An absence we have to just get through until the vaccine comes. The hope we are searching for at the end of a long tunnel. A summer breeze come through a window to reawaken a loved one who sleeps. 

Meeker, Colorado 2019

It doesn’t feel real. Death is one thing in life that never changes, even when everything else does. It defies gravity. I believe, so do our Spirits. How we can survive in the face of what we’ve lost is unimaginable to me. I don’t know how I’m doing it, I just am. Because he would want me to. Not only to survive, but thrive.

I can hear him now in my head, always with a warm and gentle smile. Asking me to open my heart- this shattered piece of meat that stopped beating for him yet keeps beating for me. A little wider, he says. You can do it. 

Expand. Love. Be generous. Give. 

Father’s Day, 2018

It is not too late.

Love is never finished. Nor, is it lost.

*My Dad, Mark Allan Friend passed away 12/23/2020. To learn more about his life or leave condolences, please visit Thank you for your love and support. His legacy lives on in our light and care for one another.

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