So here it is again - March 8 - and I remember the life of my friend Phyllis.
She was my mother-in-law, who, near the end of her life and, also, my dying marriage, encouraged me to break off, to seek happiness, to build my life away from her son, to start anew.
On March 8, I think of my loss and feel the promise of Spring. All in the same day.
She taught me things that a parent just can't. Unconditional love from a near stranger is quite the gift. Her imperfection was offset by her abundant care. And I hope that maybe, just maybe, I have assumed some of that goodness and can pass it on.
We had many long talks and walks with the children, when they were young and I was confused. We would get outside, in the light. I'd grab the stroller and she would get her smokes. I found comfort in our easy friendship.
Now, so much clearer, and older, I try to contribute more than I criticize, to feel the wholehearted wonder of the outside, to feel the magic of generosity, to choose my life with intention, to help others find their own worthiness.
I stand up and believe in my own sweet life, and I miss her a little less when I'm like that.