Two women.

Two women I knew
at different points,
on my mind today.

One,
A death, a mortal passing,
a goodbye of the physical and the present
until, with hope, there is today again in different form.

Another,
A goodbye; physical, emotional passing,
a farewell to a particular and peculiar kind of friendship
no death, but the stab of a good memory mechanism that functions too well.

Two women,
one gone to death with loved behind, tears, loss
one gone to new places with loved behind, tears, joy, a different loss.

Two women,
one my very first friend,
another one of my dearest,
in an afternoon, on my mind.

In new places;
places where they have, or will be
leaving the old behind,
some happy ahead,
some sad behind.

We wish the best for those we care for, and those who care for them.
These two have been important
at different points.

One I have not seen for 20 years or more,
but used to ride bicycles and play in the forest on summer days.
I accidentally hit her on the head with a wooden swing once,
and I forgot to ever tell her that it wasn't totally an accident; I guess I wanted to see what would happen.
What happened is it hurt, and her mom got mad at me.
I'm sorry.

One I have seen almost daily for six years,
but will hardly ever see again.
Once she made cookies and said I could take a couple to go,
and I took a couple, and then a couple more,
and then several,
and then ate another one in front of her so she'd believe me when I said they were good.
I'm sorry for the empty plate.
They were delicious.

I wish I had been a better friend to my first friend
and stayed in touch.
There's a hundred excuses I can make for not having reached out.
But I hang my head.
To have just said goodbye.

I wish I had been able to have a proper goodbye with my last friend.
I don't know what proper is, but something to acknowledge a passage, a changing; something mutual that says,
you were important to me and we had something irreplaceable and unique.

And now it will change and be different.
The nonlinear continuity of life, aimless entropy unless changed.
It's the drifting away; the act of normal people becoming distracted with new focus that brings the sharpest pains sometime.
I have danced on both sides;
I hang my head again.
I have hurt and I have been hurt.

Why do we do graduations and memorials and such?
They're ridiculous cultural rituals.
We always complain, unless they're ours.
Sometimes we do anyway.
I do.

Acknowledgment.
Acknowledgment of something important.
That this person's life meant something in the context of ours.
That there is a shared experience that was meaningful.

If it was 30 years ago,
or last week.

To know that you have people who have
loved you,
who have better, liked you,
who will fight for you and battle to keep what's important alive,

when you're gone.

Everyone should know that,
and say it to those they feel it for.
And mean it.
Do it.
A balance of accepting what is reality
and fighting to preserve, or better, build on what's important
and to change what should be changed,
and to make the world better.

One relationship at a time.
One legacy at a time.
To remember, to acknowledge,
to say thank you
for being important,
unique;
gone.

Thank you, in different ways and degrees,
to two women who have been important in my life
at different times.

I hope to see you again.